Animal Camouflage by Adolf Portmann

By Adolf Portmann

The rugged define of a mountain top appears like a human face; the markings on a moth exhibit a cranium and crossbones. Mere coincidences we are saying, and brush aside the problem as one other freak of nature. but if we stumble upon an animal that appears like a leaf or a sprig, we start to ask yourself. This likeness needs to be greater than chance--it needs to play a major half within the animal's survival. This brings us immediately to the crux of our challenge: the functionality of outward appearances.

We have all obvious bugs which are the colour of bark and brooding pheasant hens whose feathers look like the fleeting shadows in their nesting flooring. We can have chanced upon a moth whose simply safety is the coloring that makes it resemble a wasp. every one of those animals pretends to be anything it isn't, and it does this which will live to tell the tale. glossy armies use camouflage to guard their infantrymen, weapons, ships, and armed forces installations; the result's facts confident of the shielding price of such concepts. The reader aren't stunned then, if we inform him that our topic has performed a well known half in all discussions in regards to the beginning and the evolution of dwelling organisms. Charles Darwin was once one of many first to emphasize the significance of camouflage, and because his day the topic has shaped one of many strands of organic conception.

This isn't really to assert that the gurus all agree. What a few decide to clarify as camouflage, others describe in altogether varied phrases. a bunch of experimenters has got down to end up a number of the theories, yet continuously with excellent medical detachment. the matter of mimicry, particularly, has develop into a veritable no man's land of organic battle.

These are issues our e-book will discover. Casting our look over an unlimited canvas, we will try and hint the
meaning of a few of the colourful brush strokes that went into its portray.

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Extra resources for Animal Camouflage

Sample text

Even fishes sometimes resemble the algae of their immediate environment. The Australian sea dragon (Phyllopteryx eques), which is related to the sea horse, carries this resemblance to extreme lengths by wearing what look like branches of a fine weed ( Fig. 58 ). FIG. 56 Marine snails among sea grasses and algae. Left to right: Lobiger serradifalci, Elysia viridis, and a young sea hare (Aplysia punctata). -49Questia Media America, Inc. com Publication Information: Book Title: Animal Camouflage. Contributors: Adolf Portmann - author.

The animal which carries this type of resemblance to its extremes is the Malagasy weevil (Lithinus nigrocristatus) of Madagascar ( Fig. 66 ). The buff-tip moth (Phalera bucephala) combines bark and lichen patterns with a branch-stump effect that is extremely deceptive ( Fig. -56Questia Media America, Inc. com Publication Information: Book Title: Animal Camouflage. Contributors: Adolf Portmann - author. Publisher: University of Michigan Press. Place of Publication: Ann Arbor, MI. Publication Year: 1959.

A lacewing (Drepanopteryx phalaenoides) whose concealing pattern and wing shape provide excellent camouflage anywhere. FIG. 72. The plume moth looks like part of a plant. (Photograph: D. ) -61Questia Media America, Inc. com Publication Information: Book Title: Animal Camouflage. Contributors: Adolf Portmann - author. Publisher: University of Michigan Press. Place of Publication: Ann Arbor, MI. Publication Year: 1959. Page Number: 61. 59 title FIG. 73. The Southeast Asian mantid (Toxodera denticulata) camouflaged to resemble bark and twigs.

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