Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Masters of disguise: The gecko that resembles a leaf and nature's other camouflage experts


Blending in: This Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko hides from predators in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar, or is it just a leaf?

Stare at these pictures for long enough and you might just spot some clever creatures playing the ultimate game of hide and seek.
This Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko is barely visible against the leaves in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar.
These amazing animals are true masters at blending effortlessly into their environment as a means of survival in the natural world.

Nothing to see here: A Bat-faced Toad hides among dead leaves in Amacayacu National Park, Colombia

Barking up the wrong tree: It's nearly impossible to pick out this Lichen Spider at the Erawan National Park in Thailand

From frogs to fish and bugs to birds, this collection of images shows the animal kingdom's outstanding camouflage ability.
Animals use two basic methods of concealment in a bid to hide from predators and catch prey.
These are general resemblance and special resemblance.

Nothing to see here: A Speckled Sanddab blends perfectly with the pebbled ocean floor

Kicking off: This Sandhopper protects itself by covering red sand all over its body in the desert

That's a blooming good disguise: An Orchid Mantis sits inside a flower

Unbe-leaf-able: This Leaf Katydid looks like part of the forest floor in San Cipriano Reserve, Colombia

Can you spot me? A snow leopard looks for prey in the Himalayas

With general resemblance animals use colour to blend in with their background until they are almost invisible.
This method is commonly associated with chameleons but other creatures, including spiders and the Hymenopus Coronatus or Orchid Mantis, adopt this tactic when hiding and hunting.
Special resemblance sees creatures use a mixture of shape, colour, texture and behaviour to make them appear like something else in their habitat, such as a leaf or twig.

Buzz off: This Peppered Moth has found the perfect hiding place on a rock

Can you sea me yet? A Righteye Flounder camouflages himself on the ocean floor

That act's getting a bit wooden: This Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko is a master of disguise in Montagne dAmbre National Park, Madagascar

Stop mossing around: A Katydid blends into foliage in Costa Rica

Stick with it: There's a Leaf Frog in there somewhere

Among the other images is a Sandhopper which has kicked red desert sand over its body to protect itself and a Speckled Sanddab fish which blends into the pebbled ocean floor.
A male Shale Grasshopper also mimics the stones it sits on.

It has eyes! A Vietnamese Mossy Frog is perfectly adapted to his surroundings

Where did he go? The Great Potoo hides in a tree in Brazil as it searches for food

Double act: A pair of Glass Frogs shelter in foliage at Manu National Park, Peru

source: dailymail

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