When it comes to the animal kingdom, its all about survival of the fittest. And how do you survive? Well, by making sure you don’t get eaten, of course! From bugs that look like leaves and lizards that look like tree bark, several species of animals around the planet have evolved to blend into their environment. Click through to check out some of Mother Nature’s most jaw-dropping examples of animal camouflage.
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1. Peacock Flounder
You’ll find these masters of disguise in the waters of the Indo-Pacific. They crawl along the sea floor, changing their appearance along with the changing landscape. Careful where you put your feet — peacock flounders like to live in shallow waters.
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2. Leaf-Tailed Gecko
How about this guy? Only found in Madagascar, the leaf-tailed gecko is one of the animal kingdom’s best example of animal mimicry. And it’s not just its appearance that makes it so successful at evading predators — it can also flatten out its body to reduce shadows and shed it’s tail to trick predators.
Can you spot this frogfish in the photo above?
There are several species of frogfish across the globe, resembling everything from fish and worms to stones and coral. Without any natural forms of protection, the frogfish relies entirely on its capacity to blend in.
4. Dead-Leaf Butterfly
There are two generations of dead-leaf butterflies born every year — one during the wet season, and one during the dry. As you might expect, the ones born during the dry season are, well, dryer looking! You’ll find these fascinating critters in the tropical forests of India & East Asia.
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5. Leafy Sea Dragon
Famed in its native Australia, the leafy sea dragon disguises itself as seaweed. Unfortunately, the incredible creature is under threat of extinction.
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6. Mimic Octopus
Still photos just don’t do this incredible creature justice. As its name suggests, the mimic octopus can change its shape and color to match surrounding animals — instantaneously!
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7. Pygmy Seahorse
The pygmy seahorse is so well camouflaged, the species wasn’t even discovered until researchers were examining the coral it mimics in a lab! Measuring in at under an inch, these tiny critters are found in the waters off Japan, Indonesia, and Northern Australia.