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The snowshoe hare is found in North America, primarily in boreal forests and upper montane forests. The term ‘snowshoe’ is used in reference to the hare’s large hind feet, which prevent it from sinking in the snow. The snowshoe hare exhibits adaptive camouflage, depending on the season. During the winter, its fur is white, enabling it to blend with the snowy surroundings. It then turns to rusty brown, during the summer. Climate change has affected the hare’s camouflage, as certain habitats are sometimes left without snow.
Cuttlefish are marine mollusks, part of the same animal class as squids and octopi. One of their most distinctive features is a unique internal shell, called the cuttlebone. Cuttlefish have w-shaped pupils, eight arms and two tentacles, which feature suckers with teeth-like structures. They’re considered to be among the most intelligent invertebrates, of which they have the largest brain-to-body size ratio. They’re often described as “chameleons of the sea” due to their ability of rapidly changing color to communicate or as camouflage. Cuttlefish have chromatophores, which are sacs containing numerous pigment granules.
Leaf mantis is the name attributed to various mantis species, usually in the Deroplatys genus, which bear a resemblance to leafy vegetation. Deroplatys desiccata, also known as the giant leaf mantis, is the largest species within the genus. Its camouflaged appearance consists of a flattened, extended thorax and intricate leaf patterns on its wings. The similarity to vegetation is also aided by the mantis’s coloration, which varies from a pale orange brown to dark brown. The creature’s movements also support the camouflage. When disturbed, the mantis will rock gently, creating the illusion of a leaf being caught in a breeze.
This creature has earned its name by how well it blends into its surroundings. Their camouflage makes them resemble rocks or coral in the water, which is why they often go unnoticed by swimmers. As people inadvertently step on the fish, they get stung.
On their coats, the tiger owns one of the most distinctive and mesmerizing patterns in the animal kingdom. Its heavy, dense fur varies in coloration from shades of orange to brown. It also features black vertical stripes in patterns that are unique for each individual. The stripes are still visible if the felid is shaved, because of the hair follicles embedded in the skin, similar to the human five o’clock shadow. The tiger’s unique coat acts as camouflage in the tall grass.
Tawny frogmouths are true masters of disguise among Australia’s native birds. These creatures bear a strong resemblance to owls because of their big heads, stocky build and nocturnal habits. When it comes to camouflage, tawny frogmouths are arguably superior. During the day, they become practically invisible by perching low on a tree, often on a broken branch.
No list of camouflage masters would be complete without the chameleon. It’s probably the best-known creature when it comes to blending into the surrounding environment. These lizards are distinguishable by their feet, prehensile tails, and by their highly modified and rapidly-extensive tongues. Most species are capable of changing their skin coloration and pattern through combinations of various colors. Their skin has two layers which control color change and thermoregulation. However, pigment movement is only one aspect of the mechanism. The lizard also has an under layer of cells containing specialized nanocrystals.
Members of the Phasmatodea are commonly referred to as stick insects, walking sticks or bug sticks. They’re found all-over the world, with the exception of Antarctica, and their populations are most abundant in the tropics and subtropics. The Phasmatodea order contains the world’s longest insect, such as female Phobaeticus, can be over 22 inches long.
Flatfish enjoy a wide distribution all-over the world ranging from the Arctic to Antarctica. Some have been reported at depths of over 4,900 feet and even at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. They range in size and some species, such as the Atlantic halibut, can be over 8 feet long and weigh almost seven hundred pounds. One of the most recognizable features shared by the various flatfish species is the asymmetrical placement of their eyes, which are on the same side of the head. The other is that these creatures rely on an effective form of camouflage.