Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can you see me now?

by Lizzie

Camouflage is how animals blend in or look like their environment. It helps animals stay alive by giving them an advantage over other animals (that don't blend in). Camouflage can help prey animals live longer by hiding them from predators (like the rabbit hiding from the coyote). Camouflage can also help predators hide while they hunt. For example, leopards have spotted coats that look like sun on trees or grass, and they can be very still. A well-camouflaged animal will probably survive longer than an animal with poor camouflage. Some animals, like the chameleon, change color to blend in with things that are around them and others, like the sting ray, cover themselves to blend in. 
(c) @HowStuffWorks

(c) @HowStuffWorks

 Can you find the animals in these pictures?

 Editor's Note for "Can you see me now?"
by DblXSciJrEd
You may be thinking that it's easy for you to see a lot of the animals above. Remember, you (as a homo sapiens) have special equipment for sharp, clear, color vision. Your cones, special nerve cells in your eyes, set you apart from most of the animal kingdom. Look at the picture below of zebra running through grass.

Pretty obvious, right? If you were a lion, though, all of those zebra stripes would start to look a lot like grass waving on the Serengeti. Picking one out of the herd becomes quite a task... especially when the stripes are moving. Think of this the next time you're driving fast down the highway. Look at the grass along the side of the road and how blurred it becomes as the car speeds up. It would be tough to find a grasshopper (or anything grass-colored) under those conditions. 

We encourage you (once you're on solid ground) to hunt for examples of camouflage in your own back yard. You'll be surprised what you'll find. Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Great topic lizzie! I love the skate example. I live on the coast in North Carolina and the skates blend right in with the sand. When walking in the water out of the barrier islands, I have to poke ahead of me first or shuffle my feet so I don't surprise one and get a stinging barb in my leg!