Survival within the wild can become a very challenging task for all wildlife, but if you are smaller or even slower than your possible predators, you are more in danger.
Therefore, many animals have developed various ways to camouflage themselves during the course of evolution. The ways animals camouflage themselves differ, this depends mostly on three factors:
- The physiology and behavior of the animal.
- The predator and the environment, whereby the place where the animal lives and hunts its food.
- And the way the animal blends in with its environment.
Natural selection plays an integral part too!
The way wildlife camouflages itself, gets determined genetically and every new generation will adapt to its surrounding better.
How does camouflaging work?
What will happen is that an animal will imitate the coloration of its surrounding or natural habitat. Some of the species are also known to be able to alter their coloration. The most common and well known example is a chameleon and even if some furry animals and birds might loose their feathers and fur completely and replace it with new ones for a new season.
Sometimes the best way to camouflage oneself is to stick with the herd: for example, when you see a lion walk pass a bunch of zebras, it will only see a big striped mass. Those fish covered in bright vertical stripes might appear visible when alone, but if a large group of them swims pass a predator, the predator will see an unidentified colored splash.