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Masters Of Disguise

Masters Of Disguise

All animals in the wild, within the course of evolution, have developed ways to survive against most odds. Some of them have mastered the beautiful and complex art of camouflage – where they disguise themselves in different ways to blend with their surroundings and leave their predators guessing!

Photo: Rajmohan M.R.

A flying dragon! Yes, that is what a draco or the flying lizard is often called. It has extra folds of skin on its sides that help it glide across large distances. When it is not ‘flying’, it camouflages itself against barks to vanish from plain sight!

Photo: Anjana Bhargava.

The short-horned grasshopper is a master at hiding in its habitat. With over 10,000 species in the family, you can find one in every colour and pattern imaginable.

Photo: Kiran Poonacha.

One of the largest owls in the owl kingdom, the Indian Eagle-Owl’s brownish appearance helps the bird merge well in its hilly and rocky scrub forest habitat.

Photo: Gaurav Shirodkar.

What a marvellous form of camouflage! Imitate a branch or a twig, stay very still and you can fool predators by the bunch! That’s exactly what this giant stick insect does best. Fooled you too, didn’t it?

Photo: Ravi B. Dave.

Also known as a reed cat or swamp cat, the jungle cat flaunting a sandy-brown or tawny-grey coat, is able to ‘hide’ quite well in its swampy habitat.

Photo: Aditya ‘Dicky’ Singh.

The parents of this Painted Sandgrouse chick have ensured it remains well camouflaged in its nest, making it less vulnerable to predators. Clearly, a job well done!

Photo: Suraj Ravindra Das.

Bark mantises are a special type of praying mantis for whom ‘cryptic’ colouration is the name of the game. Can you spot it?

Photo: Kaushal Shah.

Sure-footed and tough, greater blue sheep or bharals sport pale blue coats in winter, while their summer coats are red-brown. Either way, they can be difficult to spot in their mountainous terrain.

First appeared in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol. XXXVI, NO. 9, September 2016.


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