Jan 18 2016

Animals With Amazing Camouflage

From animals having incredible camouflage to blend into mother nature to prevent from getting eaten alive, to predators blending in so they can attack their prey silently. These are 15 of the hardest animals to spot in nature.

15. Fer-De-Lance

The fer-de-lance is a dangerous pit viper and is responsible for the majority of fatal snake bites, in its native region of southern Mexico to the northern section of South America. The pattern on the snake’s scales perfectly blend in with the leaf litter, on the forest floor. The ill-temper of the fer-de-lance, combined with a natural camouflage that makes it nearly impossible to spot, is why so many people are bitten.
Fun Facts
⦁ The females, of the species, are larger than the males. The females can get up to 8 feet long, while the makes stop short of 6 feet.
⦁ The fer-de-lance can strike high, often resulting in bites above the knee.
⦁ The species will use the tip of its tail to lure prey in for the kill.

14. Lichen Spider

The lichen spider, a variety of huntsman spider, is an ambush predator that relies on its natural camouflage to get its prey. It blends in with lichen and moss found growing on trees. The spider doesn’t use a web, but instead relies on its natural stealth to get close to prey and take them down.
Fun Facts
⦁ Despite being from Australia, the Lichen Spider’s venom isn’t very harmful to humans.
⦁ A mother spider will aggressively defend her egg sack.
⦁ The lichen spider is one of the fastest spiders on Earth.

13. Walking Sticks


Walking Sticks are part of an order of insects called phasmatodea. Their evolutionary niche can be summed up as, the best defense is not to get attacked at all, and if a predator can’t see its prey in the first place, it won’t attack. Basically, every bug you see that looks like a leaf, twig, or a whole plant entirely is part of this species order.
Fun Facts
⦁ The Chan’s Megastick walking stick is the largest known species of phasmatodea to exist. It can reach sizes nearly two feet long.
⦁ Some phasmatodea species can change color to match their surroundings.
⦁ Even their eggs are hard to spot. Many eggs from this order of insects resemble seeds.

12. Tigers
Tigers are the biggest of the big cats, and the can all but disappear within their natural habitat. Their orange coats and black stripes blend perfectly with the tall grasses and shadows. It’s hard to believe, considering their bright orange fur and size (up to 11 feet long and near 700 lbs.)
⦁ Tigers love to swim, unlike most cats
⦁ They have been known to hunt and kill humans, just for fun
⦁ Tigers are also smart enough to adapt to and overcome the countermeasures rangers in India to avoid their attacks.

11. The Polar Bear
Having white fur in a place where snow and ice stretch as far as the eye can see is helpful, to say the least. The polar bear’s fur are actually semi-transparent, hollow hairs that allow sunlight to filter through to their black skin, and retain heat.
Fun Facts
⦁ The polar bear isn’t the Arctic’s apex predator. That goes to the Greenland shark, which eats polar bears.
⦁ Polar bears will travel far enough south, and mate with grizzly bears, producing hybrid offspring called pizzlys.
⦁ Despite living in one of the coldest places on earth, polar bears have to take care not to get too warm. That’s how well they have adapted to their icy environment.

10. Stingrays

There are several species of freshwater and saltwater stingrays around the world. Stingrays are generally non-aggressive, but they are also very hard to see. Not only does their natural coloring blend into the surroundings, but they will often bury themselves just under the muck and sand. As a result, many a beachgoer or fisherman has gotten a 14 inch barb in their leg, after stepping on a hiding stingray.

Fun Facts
⦁ Stingrays are members of the shark family of species.
⦁ The Crocodile Hunter met his end when a stingray stung him in the chest.
⦁ There is a tribe in the Amazon hates the stingray so much, because of their painful stings, that they kill them on sight.

9. Trapdoor Spider
The Trapdoor spider takes that natural stealth a step further, and proves that just because you don’t have good camouflage, doesn’t mean you can’t be hard to spot. The trapdoor spider is an ambush predator that lies in wait in a trapdoor covered hole which blends seamlessly into the surrounding ground. As soon as anything it thinks is food wanders close enough to its hole, it pops out and strikes.
Fun Facts
⦁ The walls of their hole is made from their silk.
⦁ Trapdoor spiders are often kept as pets.
⦁ Their bite is relatively harmless, to humans

8. The Great White Shark

Nature documentaries tend not to show just how easy it is for some large predators to hide within their environment. The great white shark is one of those invisible predators. The dark color on the top blends perfectly with the murky depth of the ocean, and the white underbelly makes the shark invisible from anything looking at it from below. Surfers never say, “I saw it coming from a mile away, but, Dude, I had to catch that last wave.’ It’s more like, “I was minding my own business, and then out of nowhere, it felt like I got hit by a city bus…with teeth.”
Fun Facts
⦁ Sharks can get a tan, providing they stay in shallow enough water long enough to get that much sun.
⦁ Except for their teeth and jaws, sharks have no bones. It’s all cartilage.
⦁ The great white’s ancestor, the megalodon, was a shark about the size of a T-Rex. It had teeth larger than a human hand.

7. The Peppered Moth

The peppered moth can be found in many parts of the world, from China to North America and in-between. The moth has also demonstrated how natural selection works, and the impact humans can make on the environment. The peppered moth, in some locations, has changed the color of its camo due to the lichens where they hide being killed off during the early days of the Industrial Revolution.
Fun Facts
⦁ The caterpillar (larval form) of the peppered moth is a mimic. It looks like a twig.
⦁ The females only fly once. They make it to a safe spot, and release pheromones to attract mates.
⦁ Its biggest predator is the bat, where its camouflage is useless.

6. Alligators and Crocodiles

Like sharks, these predators have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, and have remained largely unchanged for 65 million years. Alligators and crocodiles are ambush predators that eat fish, or whatever comes to the edge of a river for a drink. Their coloring and shape make them invisible, as they wait just under the surface of the water. If you ever find yourself in the water with one, try not to splash. They see splashing about in the water as a sign of prey ready to be dinner.
⦁ Alligators can live for up to a year, without food.
⦁ The saltwater crocodile has a bite that measures 3,700 psi. Near that what the Tyrannosaurus is thought to have had.
⦁ Recently, a burglary suspect in Florida, who decided to hide from police in a pond, was killed and eaten by an 11 foot alligator.

5. The Anaconda

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The anaconda is one of the biggest snakes on the planet. Despite its size, it is all but invisible while it lies in wait for its prey. The green scales and darker patterns blend in with the marshy areas the Anaconda calls home. People living in the Amazon claim that the anaconda is a man-eater, though there have been no verified claims, despite what viral pics from the internet say. Anacondas do eat deer, crocodiles, and jaguars, so eating a human isn’t out of the question.
Fun Facts
⦁ The anaconda isn’t the longest snake in the world, that honor goes to the reticulated python, but it is the heaviest.
⦁ Natives along the Amazon River call the anaconda the thunder snake.
⦁ A really bad movie called Anaconda, starring Jennifer Lopez’s butt, came out in 1997.

4. The Stone Fish

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The stone fish is one of the most poisonous fish in the world, and is found in the Indo-Pacific region. Many people accidently step on them, where the spines along its back pierce the skin and inject the venom. The camouflage of the stonefish makes the animal almost indistinguishable from the surrounding stone and reefs. In addition to the color, the camouflage’s fringy makeup breaks up its pattern and mimics the texture of the surrounding rocks.
Fun Facts
⦁ The stone fish’s venom a neuro toxin that can be deadly to humans.
⦁ The venom is rendered inert, when heated, and many Asian cultures consider the stone fish a delicacy.
⦁ A common treatment is to stick the affected area into hot water. (45C/113F) The venom is destroyed at that temperature, and it doesn’t cook the patient.

3. Snow Leopard

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One of the rarest and most elusive of big cats, snow leopards are found in the high altitude regions of central Asia. An almost endless amount of mystery and legend surround the big cat. Their white fur, with spots, blend in with the snow common at high altitudes, and break up its pattern against the rugged terrain.
⦁ Before being scientifically confirmed to exist, the snow leopard was so rare and elusive that many scientists thought it was a myth, and treated the idea of its existence the same way they did the Yeti.
⦁ They do not roar, and are incapable of doing so.
⦁ The snow leopard isn’t a leopard. It is a closer relation to a tiger, and is scientifically put in the panther family.

2. The Eastern Whip-Poor-Will


This is a bird that nearly everyone in the bird’s habitat range has heard, but few ever see. Like many animals with outstanding natural camouflage, the whip-poor-will is nocturnal, and will sleep on the ground in the open during the day. The plumage of the bird blends perfectly with the tree bark, lichen, and dead leaves in the forests it calls home.
Fun Facts
⦁ The whip-poor-will’s song is often considered an omen of death, with some legends saying that the bird can capture and devour departing souls.
⦁ H.P. Lovecraft used the dark legends around the whip-poor-will as part of the inspiration for The Dunwich Horror.
⦁ Folklore from some parts of the South Eastern US says the song of the whip-poor-will means that the fall’s first frost will hit in about a month.

1. Mossy Leaf-Tailed Gecko


The mossy leaf-tailed gecko is native to Madagascar, and is found nowhere else in the world. The reptile’s camouflage works in two ways. Its skin has fringes, which breaks up its outline, like the ghillie suits snipers often wear. Second, it can change its skin color to better match its surroundings.
Fun Facts
⦁ The mossy leaf-tailed gecko doesn’t have eyelids, like most mammals and reptiles. It keeps its eyes clean by licking them.
⦁ They can see color in the dark.
⦁ They are nocturnal, and spend the day hiding in plain sight.