Do you think animals are smart or do you think they are dumb? After reading this article, you may have to rethink. Animals are not dumb even though they sometimes appear to be dumb. There are many tricks that animals play in order to escape from their predators or to catch their prey.
The most common among them is the camouflage trick. For some animals, playing hide and seek is a matter of life and death. They use camouflage to escape from the predators. They blend so well with the environment that they live in, that it is often very difficult to spot these animals/insects clearly. There are some animals which keep changing colours along with the changing seasons, such as the arctic fox, which appears white in winter and greyish brown in summer.
There are some animals which have stripes or patterns on their bodies that help in protecting from predators. Take for example the curious case of the zebra stripes. To a human eye, the black and white stripes look very distinct. But, to a lion, the stripes blend together, making a zebra look grey. This, despite the fact that lions can see six times better in the dark when compared to humans. Lions are the main predators of the zebra.
Another classic example is the chameleon, a type of lizard that can change colours rapidly to match with its environment. This colour change is not only for camouflage but is also a form of a social signal. They show brighter colours when they display aggression to other chameleons and darker colours when they give up in a fight.
Even the female white banded crab spider can change its colour from yellow to white to match its background while hunting. To a human eye, they look like the flowers they are sitting on. And to an unsuspecting prey, they are ambush predators.
Some animals also play dead, so that they can catch their prey. A species of the cichlid fish feign death and sink to the ground, waiting for its prey. When smaller fish come close enough, the supposedly dead fish comes to life and nabs its prey!
Some animals also pretend to be other animals by mimicking, which is a misleading communication technique. Some harmless creatures mimic other creatures to look more dangerous. An example of this is the viceroy butterfly that mimics the poisonous monarch butterfly in order to escape predators.
And finally, you all must have heard about how a cuckoo lays its eggs it a crow’s nest. Don’t you think cuckoos are smarter than crows? Do you know of any other animals or insects that play tricks either to protect themselves or to nab food?
Check out these other animals/insects that are so well camouflaged in their surroundings!