We can all agree that nature is pretty amazing, from Technicolor landscapes to microscopic beauty. Its wonders never cease to amaze us. Not only is nature beautiful, but its little tricks can be quite useful to its inhabitants. One wonderful gift from nature is camouflage, where animals blend in with their surroundings, either to hide from predators or to sneak up on prey. Like any adaptation, these animals” colors and patterns evolved over generations, and, as landscapes change, will continue to evolve.
1. The Walking Flower Mantis
This pink mantis is the same color as an orchid, which helps it be stealthy for unsuspecting prey.
2. This bird isn”t super well-hidden up close (and it doesn”t look pleased to be spotted), but from farther away or above, it would be more difficult to spot.
3. The Walking Leaf Insect
Its camouflage continues when it moves, too: when it walks, this bug wobbles back and forth to mimic the motion of a leaf blowing in the wind.
4. The Lantern Fly
This little guy is hard to see, unless you startle it. Its wings open to reveal some mean-looking eye spots.
5. The Walking Stick
The walking stick bug looks just like, well, a stick. They also move slowly to look like twigs swaying in the wind.
6. The Giraffe
Not only does its color and pattern help it blend into the trees, but so does its overall shape.
7. The Impala
Sharing a color with much of the landscape, the impala can blend into wooded surroundings. If spotted, it”s also got some serious speed to help it get away from predators.
8. The Lizard
This lizard blends in by chilling on a tree trunk. Lizards can also hold their positions for quite some time.
9. The Arctic Fox
Stealthy all year, the arctic fox sheds its white coat in spring and turns a deep brown to blend in with the snowless landscape. In winter, it grows white fur to blend in with the snow. This blending ability helps it sneak up on prey.
10. The Other Lizard
This lizard”s pattern also resembles tree bark, but its coloring is more suited to the trees in its region. Even its eyes, though shiny, are a similar color.
11. The Snake
On top of blending in with the ground for a sneak attack, snakes can also move quickly and silently.
12. The Moth
This moth blends in with the pale gray wood of this tree. The same species of moth, if living in different areas, can adapt to their surroundings by evolving into different colors.
13. The Spider
Unless you”re on the lookout for its shiny little eyes, you”d completely miss this guy.
14. The Leopard
Instead of hiding from predators, the leopard”s spots help it blend in so it can better stalk its prey. The spots resemble the shadows of leaves on the ground.
15. The Alligator
Alligators lie in wait, looking a lot like waterlogged pieces of wood. They”re hoping some hapless animal will decide to step on them.
16. The Fish
We bet you can”t even find this one.
17. The Leaf Litter Mantid
Instead of a flower or a live leaf, this insect looks like a decomposing leaf, allowing it to sneak across the forest floor unseen.
(via My Modern Met)
So the next time you”re out in nature, pay attention! You might be walking right past some incredible creatures. Remember, that they”re hiding for a reason, so if you do spot them, leave them be.