What is Camouflage with Example?
What is camouflage in animals?
Ever wondered why you can’t spot lizards on trees or jaguars in the grass? Every wondered why polar bears are perfectly white and match their surrounding snow? Ever wondered why soldiers always dress in greens and browns? All these questions have only one answer – CAMOUFLAGE. So let’s understand what it means.
What is camouflage?
Define Camouflage / Camouflage Meaning: Camouflage is a combination of materials, colours or lights for animals or plants to hide and protect themselves from predators. We see some animals adapt themselves to any environment. Their colours, patterns and skins change depending on the condition. They can change colour or disguise themselves so that hunters cannot easily see them. They do so using a combination of materials, colours, or lights to integrate with the environment.
Many animals hide themselves according to their surroundings. The most common examples of this phenomenon are chameleons and octopuses. It is hard for hunters to find them because they take the colour of wood, leaves or stone. Animals use a variety of methods to catch prey or escape from predators.
Camouflage is created based on two components, namely pigments and physical composition. For example, octopuses have pigments called bio-chromes that contain microscopic pigments that reflect light to change the actual colour of the specimen.
Animal concealment strategy depends on many factors. For example, furry animals use different concealment techniques than animals with scales and feathers. For furry animals, it takes months and weeks for the hair to change colour and shade, while for scaly beings, the scales shed quickly and change colour. On the other hand, the animal hairs like that of polar bears have unique anatomical structures that radiate the light of all colours, making the animal look white.
What is the importance of camouflage?
Hiding is crucial to certain beings to protect themselves from predators or attacks.
- It helps preys to hide from hunters or attackers.
- Victims are able to conceal their movements, their locations and their identity.
- Living beings are able to blend themselves with their surroundings with natural backgrounds and colour patterns.
What are the types of camouflage?
There are several different types of camouflage, as stated below –
1. Disruptive colouration camouflage : Disruptive colouration patterns use contrasting marks like spots, stripes to break up the outlines of an animal. Animals use multiple colours, black spots or stripes to hide themselves to avoid predators. Some predators, like the leopard, use disruptive patterns. Destructive colouration can further get traced in tigers, leopards, frogs, scorpions, and turtles.
Many animals can change themselves to one single colour that is beneficial with integrating with their backgrounds. However, the disruptive colouration is apt for animals that may have a variety of surroundings.
A classic example of preys using disruptive colouration is that of a Zebra. Zebras have contrasting black and white stripes. Therefore, when several zebras are together in a group, it becomes hard for the predator to attack.
2. Disguise: Animals change their appearance to blend with their surroundings by their colour, texture and shape. Spiders, leaf butterflies, dragonfly katydid, stick bugs or stick insects are examples of such camouflages.
3. Mimesis Camouflage or Mimicry : Living beings begin to mimic their surroundings to attack prey or escape from predators. For example, few insects can mimic leaves, branches, and twigs. Therefore, predators fail to take notice of the possible prey and disregard their presence. Mimesis may be traced in leaf-tailed geckos, oak leaf butterflies, caterpillars and stick insects.
4. Concealing colouration : Most forest animals are brown in colour, while most animals with cold habitats are white in colour. It enables them to blend well to their backgrounds to protect them from predators and attack prey. Examples include the snowshoe hare that is white in winter and brown in summer, Chameleons, Octopus.
What are the examples of animals that use camouflage?
The following are some examples:
- The owl
- Sea horse
- Uroplatus geckos
- Stick insect
- Snow leopard
- Polar bear
How does camouflage work in animals?
The colour, shape or texture of an animal helps them to adapt to the environment. They have specialized cells that help regulate the pigment molecules that change the colour patterns of the skin.
What is the application of camouflage?
The primary application of camouflage in us humans is in military clothing and equipment. Military uniforms and pieces of equipment get designed in such patterns that they can blend easily with the surroundings. This design helps both attackers and victims. These uniforms hide each soldier from the attackers but also help soldiers identify friends from their enemies.
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