Animal Camouflage: When Survival Meets Beauty

Published September 4, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014

Trees are a go-to hiding spot in the wilderness. A lot of birds tend to use their coloring and trees to their advantage, as well as owls. The owl possesses the advantage of being a night hunter, which makes it even harder for potential prey to see it lurking in the branches. Lizards also hide on tree bark, making it easier to capture a variety of those delicious, unsuspecting insects.

Animal Camouflage Owl

Source: Kick Vick

Even though trees are a potential hiding spot for some, others prefer to blend in with the rocks and stones they find themselves crossing. Usually these creatures have a dark gray or brownish tint to them, allowing for easier covert movement around the crevices of rocky landscapes.

Grasshopper In Grass

Source: Casteluzzo

Grasshoppers are a delicious meal for a number of predators, so whether they’re green and hiding in healthy grass, or brown and hiding in dead grass, being able to blend in gives a nice boost to their average life spans.

Coyote In Woods

Source: Paper Blog

Animal Camouflage Snow Leopard

Source: Panthera

Coyotes come in all sorts of colors, the majority of which allowing them to fade into the specific woods in which they live. They’re natural predators, and eat almost anything. Being able to effortlessly stay hidden really helps them out in the long run when it comes time to hunt small, snack-shaped animals. Snow Leopards with their lily-white coats make them almost invisible to the wild sheep and goats they’re on the prowl for.

Animal Camouflage Alligator

Source: EHD Walls

Even—and especially—baby animals participate in the hard-knock, “blend in or die” convention. Take the alligator. Babies and adults alike will take cover under the algae growing in the water while swimming. For the babies, it keeps them from being spotted by very large snakes; for adults, it allows them to appear as if they’re a just a harmless log floating in the water. This is very useful for sneaking up on unsuspecting animals stopping by the shore for a quick drink.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.