Animal Camouflage by Adolf Portmann

By Adolf Portmann

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

We have all visible bugs which are the colour of bark and brooding pheasant hens whose feathers appear like the fleeting shadows in their nesting floor. We could have chanced upon a moth whose merely security is the coloring that makes it resemble a wasp. each one of those animals pretends to be whatever it isn't, and it does this for you to live to tell the tale. glossy armies use camouflage to guard their infantrymen, weapons, ships, and army installations; the result's facts optimistic of the protective worth of such ideas. The reader are not shocked then, if we inform him that our topic has performed a well-liked half in all discussions concerning the foundation and the evolution of residing 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 to assert that the specialists all agree. What a few decide to clarify as camouflage, others describe in altogether various phrases. a bunch of experimenters has got down to end up many of the theories, yet regularly with ideal clinical detachment. the matter of mimicry, particularly, has develop into a veritable no man's land of organic battle.

These are issues our publication will discover. Casting our look over an enormous canvas, we will attempt to 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

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In consequence, the legs can move about far more freely. So much for the structure. As for the appropriate behavior, all we know is that the crab uses its pincers for picking off small algae and cutting sponges to exactly the required size. The crab then puts these into its mouth and chews them for a few seconds before rubbing them firmly on its body. Should any of the substances fall off, they are popped back into the mouth and chewed again. No doubt they are covered with a sticky secretion in the process of chewing, for the crab neither swallows nor changes the shape of the particles.

The Malagasy weevil (Lithinus nigrocristatus) resembles lichen. 67). Even greater is the bark-lichen resemblance of the Malagasy bug (Flatoides dealbatus) whose flattened wing covers bear conspicuous lichen markings ( Fig. 68 ). The caterpillars of many Lepidoptera have become famous for their resemblance to twigs. Keeping stockstill and with the body held outward at an angle from the support, these animals make the maximum use of their concealing coloration. The abdominal legs have become reduced to two pairs, as a result of which the geometrid -57Questia Media America, Inc.

In the lower Amazon Valley there lives a fish (Monocirrhus polyacanthus, Fig. 54 ) whose popular Brazilian name is -45Questia 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: 45. 43 title FIG. 50 The wing covers of the walking leaf (Phyllium). " R: radial vein. ) FIG. 51 Color also enhances leaf resemblance in two grasshoppers.

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