Some Aspects Of Camouflage In Animals
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Camouflage is the principal device by which vulnerable animals escape predation. The attention of potential predators can be avoided by protective resemblance -mimicking an inedible object such as a seed or leaf. Concealment is achieved by means of colours that match the general environment, obliterative countershading, transparency, disruptive and coincident coloration, and by projections that break up the outline of the body. Vertebrate eyes tend to be very conspicuous unless their shape is disrupted by black eye-stripes. Adventitious materials may be used both for disguise and to make the animals that carry them distasteful to predators. Deflection of attack is sometimes achieved by autotomy or by deflection marks. Many of these principles are invoked in the protection of the young. Finally, camouflage and disguise may be used for offence as well as for defence. Numerous examples of camouflage are cited, but the vast topic of mimicry has not been discussed.