September 1, 2022, Johannesburg, South Africa, Lots of animals use camouflage to hide from their predators or their prey. This month Springbok Casino looks at several African animals that are Masters of Disguise.
Lions have the simplest form of camouflage – their coats are matched to the usual colour of the bushveld or savannah. Their golden, tawny, beige coats blend in perfectly with the sun-bleached grasses where they lie in wait for a juicy zebra or buck.
The leopard’s camouflage is the pattern of dark rosettes covering its otherwise tawny coat. These help disrupt the outline of the animal and help it blend into the mottled background of the savannah and trees.
One would think that zebras’ black and white stripes would stand out like a sore thumb in the bush. In actual fact, when they are being hunted by a predator and they stampede away in a huge herd, the stripes make it difficult for lions or cheetahs or wild dogs to distinguish a single animal and hone in on it, giving the zebra a fighting chance to escape.
Tall giraffes can spot approaching predators, their long legs are good for speedy getaways, and they can injure predators with powerful kicks. Baby giraffes, however, rely on camouflage to help stay under the radar. Their patterned coat helps them to blend into the trees and dry grasses of the bushveld landscape.
The Scops owl’s patterned plumage matches the trees they roost in.
When partially submerged in rivers, crocodiles resemble logs.
Black on the back and white on the front, penguins are hard to see from below when they’re swimming.
Chameleons can change colour to match the ground or to blend into the particular bush or plant they’re sitting on.
Flower Crab spiders can also change colour to match the flower they’re on.
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