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Understanding Camouflage

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Understanding Camouflage

  1. 1. An introduction to animal camouflage
  2. 2. Why camouflage? Remember the four basic needs of animals:    
  3. 3. Why camouflage? Remember the four basic needs of animals:  Food  Water  Shelter  Space Animals need to find all of these things in their habitats.
  4. 4. Why camouflage? Camouflage helps animals to blend in with their environment so that they can find what they need and raise their young.
  5. 5. Have you seen camouflage? Can you think of any examples of camouflage? Write down at least two examples.
  6. 6. Four kinds of camouflage One way to understand camouflage is to think about four different kinds of camouflage: • Cryptic coloration • Disruptive coloration • Mimicry • Countershading
  7. 7. Four kinds of camouflage One way to understand camouflage is to think about four different kinds of camouflage: • Cryptic coloration • Disruptive coloration • Mimicry • Countershading
  8. 8. Cryptic coloration Cryptic coloration is a kind of camouflage in which animals try to blend in with the background Can you find the fiddler crab?
  9. 9. Cryptic coloration How is this ghost crab using cryptic coloration? Notice that the tiny ghost crab is hard to see. It blends in with the sand. This is an example of cryptic coloration.
  10. 10. Cryptic coloration How does cryptic coloration help this ghost crab to survive? Ghost crabs live in burrows on the beach, but go down to the waves each day to wet their gills and find food. Their camouflage helps them to avoid being eaten.
  11. 11. Cryptic coloration How do these inchworms blend in with their environment? These inchworms are the same color as the leaves that they are feeding on. This helps to keep them from being eaten by hungry birds.
  12. 12. Cryptic coloration Why is cryptic coloration important for this cheetah? Even though cheetahs don’t have to hide from predators, their spots help them to avoid being seen as they hunt for prey.
  13. 13. Cryptic coloration Think back to the examples that you thought of. Which ones were cryptic coloration? How were the animals trying to blend in with their surroundings?
  14. 14. Four kinds of camouflage • Cryptic coloration • Disruptive coloration • Mimicry • Countershading
  15. 15. Disruptive coloration Animals that use disruptive coloration aren’t trying to blend in. Instead, they’re trying to dazzle and confuse their predators.
  16. 16. Disruptive coloration This creature is a star tortoise. It naturally lives in areas with tall grass. How does it use disruptive coloration? The star-like pattern on the tortoise breaks up the tortoise’s outline. This makes it hard to see in tall grass.
  17. 17. Disruptive coloration Scientists think that a zebra’s stripes are an example of disruptive coloration. Why do you think so? When there are many zebras together, a predator might have trouble telling one zebra from another.
  18. 18. Disruptive coloration How is disruptive coloration different from cryptic coloration? How is disruptive coloration similar to cryptic coloration?
  19. 19. Four kinds of camouflage • Cryptic coloration • Disruptive coloration • Mimicry • Countershading
  20. 20. Mimicry Animals that show a form of camouflage called mimicry look similar to something else
  21. 21. Mimicry Sometimes, a non-poisonous creature will have coloring that looks like a poisonous creature. Many insects look like bumblebees. Why might it be useful to mimic a bumblebee?
  22. 22. Mimicry In another form of mimicry, two poisonous creatures will look similar to one another. The viceroy and the monarch butterflies are both poisonous. Having similar colors means that predators will avoid them both.
  23. 23. Review Look at the mole crab in the picture. What kind of camouflage does it show? Why do you think so? The mole crab shows cryptic coloration. It’s hard to see against the sand.
  24. 24. Review Look at the giraffe in the picture. What kind of camouflage does it show? Why do you think so? The giraffe is probably an example of disruptive coloration.
  25. 25. Review This tiger swallowtail is not poisonous…but it looks like the pipevine swallowtail, which is. What kind of camouflage is this? This is an example of mimicry.
  26. 26. Four kinds of camouflage • Cryptic coloration • Disruptive coloration • Mimicry • Countershading
  27. 27. Countershading Animals that have countershading are darker on the top, and lighter on the bottom From below, these creatures blend in with the bright sky or sun above them… And from above, they blend in with the darker land or water below them.
  28. 28. Countershading This largemouth bass is a predator. How does countershading help it to survive?
  29. 29. Countershading What other creatures with countershading can you think of? Penguins Some kinds of sharks White-tailed deer Some caterpillars Squirrels
  30. 30. Review How can countershading help these penguins to avoid a leopard seal?
  31. 31. Review • Cryptic coloration • Disruptive coloration • ___________________ • Countershading Which kind of camouflage is missing?
  32. 32. Review • Cryptic coloration • Disruptive coloration • Mimicry • Countershading
  33. 33. Review What kind of camouflage does this animal show? Crayfish have cryptic coloration to blend in with the bottom of the stream. They also show countershading, because their undersides are lighter.
  34. 34. Review Explain how cryptic coloration helps this flounder to survive.
  35. 35. More camouflage! caracal Gila monster
  36. 36. More camouflage! Female goldfinch brown anole
  37. 37. What have you learned? Go back to your list of animals with camouflage.  What kinds of camouflage do these animals show?  What have you learned about animal camouflage?

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