Over the course of millions of years of evolution, the inhabitants of Earth have devised some incredible abilities to ensure their survival. Case in point: The amazing camouflage that animals employ to surprise their prey or evade their predators. Below, we look at 27 incredible examples of animal camouflage in action:
Viewing note: After each picture, the animal will be revealed in the following slide.
A Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko is not only an expert at mimicking leaves and branches, it can also shed its tail to evade predators.
A giraffe melts into the vegetation in Transvaal, South Africa.
The American Pika -- a rodent native to the mountainous Western regions of Canada and the United States -- blends in against a rocky surface.
Native to southeast Asia, the Baron Caterpillar's disguise allows it to feed on mango and cashew nut trees undetected by its predators.
A Great Gray Owl -- the world's largest owl by length -- blends into a tree in Oregon.
An Asian Vine Snake uses surrounding foliage adjacent to water to catch its primary prey, fish.
A leopard sits in the underbrush in South Africa's Kruger National Park.
A Blue-crowned parrot disappears in the verdant rain forest of Belize.
A wolf peeks behind a tree during fall in Montana.
The color and shape of the wings of the Brimstone Butterfly allow it to blend in perfectly with green vegetation while resting.
The Buff-Tip Moth has developed an astounding camouflage that helps it to hide in plain sight among trees and branches.
A Common Snipe hides among riparian vegetation in Minnesota.
A Great Horned Owl hides among autumn foliage in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon.
Found on every continent on the planet, Wolf Spiders are opportunistic predators that will use their surroundings to ambush their prey.
A nocturnal creature, the Great Potoo hides during the day by perching itself on trees.
A Horned Adder matches the sand of the Namib Desert, where they disappear completely by burying themselves.
A family of Japanese Macaques hide in plain sight amidst their rocky habitat on Honshu Island, Japan.
Two Klipspringers camouflage themselves among rocky cliffs in Botswana.
A Willow Ptarmigan blends into the snow while foraging in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
A Spotted Deer, also known as a Chital, disappears in a forest in India.
A Nighthawk conceals itself among rocks in eastern Washington.
The Pygmy Seahorse is an expert at camouflaging itself in sea corals to evade detection by potential predators.
A Snow Leopard peers over the edge of a rock in the Himalayas.
A Righteye Flounder is perfectly adapted to going undetected on the ocean floor.
Uroplatus geckos, a species of noctural lizards endemic to Madagascar, use cryptic coloration to hide in tree bark during the daytime.
And last but not least, this GIF shows the amazing ability of the mimic octopus, which can imitate flora and fauna to evade predators.
Thanks to imgur, Daily Mail, and Rant Lifestyle for some of the images above. We also recommend you check out this fascinating video by the BBC on the camouflage abilities of the cuttlefish:
Alexander is a Brooklyn-based cofounder of All That's Interesting with an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in History and Economics and an MSc from the School of Oriental and African Studies in Economics. He specializes in American history, the Cold War, and true crime.