Our Final Post

Our team would like to say thank you to everyone who has looked and contributed to our blog. We hope you have learned a lot over these two months. We have learned a lot ourselves along the way! This blog was created in addition to our exhibition as an opportunity to show camouflage in a greater variety of animals worldwide. It was both a challenging and an enriching experience.

While this blog will no longer be updated with any new posts, please do keep reading it and sharing it to anyone who may be interested.

Thank you very much!

-Chris, Dimitra, Ellie, Paul, Sam, and Ying-Peng

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The Jungle – The Seekers

This week’s seekers:

-Jaguar

JaguarJaguar (Stock.xchng-Madmatah)

The jaguar is the perfect jungle big cat. She can climb up trees, where she can relax and watch all the animals. Jaguars are great swimmers and can hunt animals in the river and pull them back to land for dinner.

Jaguars are the top of the food chain in the jungle. This means nothing will hunt them. Jaguars can choose many animals for dinner. From tapirs (this is like a pig, but with a big long nose), deer and smaller animals, like turtles and even frogs.

The jaguar has very good camouflage. You might not think  yellow would be a good colour for camouflage, but this bright colour with black spots all over it mixes up the jaguar’s shape in the dark jungle. The sun light is broken up through the leaves of the trees. This effect is matched by the jaguar’s camouflage.

Isn’t she pretty?

-Snakes in the jungle

SnakeSnake (Stock.xchng-Gomez f)

If you were a mouse could you see this snake coming?

Snakes love the jungle. They can slither around the jungle floor and up trees using their camouflaged colours of browns and greens to sneak up on prey or hide from predators.

-Coral Snake

Coral Snake
Coral Snake (Stock.xcnhg-Ryanvanhuyssteen)

This snake has bright colours, can you guess why?

This is to warn predators that he is venomous. Venom is a poison that this snake has. When it bites it will inject venom into its prey to kill it.

-False Coral Snake

False Coral SnakeFalse Coral Snake (Stock.xcnhg-Filinecek)

This isn’t a Coral Snake, but could you tell the difference?

Just like some butterflies and other animals, this snake is using mimicry. Pretending to be the venomous Coral Snake by having very similar colours.

Predators will think she is a coral snake and won’t want to stay around for long!

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The Jungle – The Hiders

What is the Jungle?

The jungle is a very hot and steamy place, full of big, tall trees, colourful flowers and lots of strange and wonderful animals. The animals you find here are very different to what you find in Britain. They can be deadly!

You can find jungles are in many places in the world. One of the most famous is the Amazon rainforest jungle in Brazil, South America.

Have you heard of it?

JungleThe jungle (Stock.xcng-McCloud)
Inside the JungleInside the jungle (Stock.xchng-Camuna)

This week’s hiders:

-Butterflies

Butterfly Butterfly (Stock.xcnhg-Chrismo52)
ButterlyButterfly (Stock.xchngToniambs)
ButterflyButterfly (Stock.xchngDarrendean)

Aren’t they pretty

Butterflies love nectar from flowers, they drink it using their proboscis; this is like a little straw that comes from the butterflies’ mouth.

Butterflies in the jungle are very different from the ones at home; they can be bigger and even more colourful. They use colour in more ways than the British ones do.

Some butterflies use colour to warn predators that they are not very tasty, so they don’t get eaten.

Other butterflies learn about this so they use colour to pretend to be bad tasting butterflies by having the same colours and patterns. This is called mimicry and this can keep a butterfly safe.

It’s a dangerous life being a butterfly. But these little creatures are very clever.

-Poison Dart Frogs

Poison Dart FrogPoison Dart Frogs (Stock.xchng-Thoursie)
Poison Dart FrogPoison Dart Frog (Stock.xchng-Aligonso)

These are some crazy colours.

Poison Dart Frogs are some of the boldest animal in the world of colour. Frogs like these can come in all the colours of the rainbow.

Poison Dart Frogs use colour in different ways. Some frogs have bright and crazy colours because they are poisonous and if a predator eats them they will die. So these colours tell the predators “you don’t want to eat me!”

Some frogs in the jungle are not poisonous and just like the butterflies they use what is called mimicry. They use these bright colours to trick predators to leave them alone. Very clever.

If you were a poison dart frog, what colours would you have?

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Please come back this Saturday for the seekers of the jungle!

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Underwater – The Seekers

Shark!

This week’s seekers:

Do you know there are two different species of shark which use camouflage to hunt their prey?

 -Great White Shark

The Great White Shark is a superb predator of the seas. It hunts above the sea floor.

They have dark upper sides to match the ocean depths, and light undersides to avoid appearing dark against the bright sea surface.

They need to eat a lot of energy-rich food because of their big bodies.

The Great White Shark is a ferocious predator and uses camouflage, taking prey by surprise from below.

Great White SharkGreat White Shark (Wikemedia commons-Sharkdiver)

-Spotted Wobbegong

The Spotted Wobbegong is another species of shark.

They are called bottom-dwelling sharks because they spend much of their time resting on the sea floor. They wait for food to come to them.

A wobbegong is well camouflaged with an eye-catching pattern that looks like the seafloor, so its camouflage help it to hide among rocks and catch smaller fish which swim too close.

Wobbegong hidingWobbegong in wait (Flickr commons- John Turnbull)

Watch out! Spotted Wobbegongs don’t bite people unless you step on them.

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Underwater – The Hiders

Undersea camouflage: these colourful underwater animals are masters of disguise

Water is an important source of life in the world. All animals rely on water to survive.

Underwater animals have the ability of camouflage just like animals on land.

Some aquatic animals can change their colour and pattern to blend in with water, or disguise themselves by picking up stones, coral reef and seaweed.

Let’s look at underwater camouflaged animals and see how camouflage behaviors help them survive!

 This week’s hiders:

-European Flounder

Do you notice that this fish has both eyes on one side of its body?

A flounder’s flattened body allows it to settle down into the sand.

The upper surface is usually dull brown with reddish and brown spots and the underneath is pearly-white.

Also, it can change colour to suit its background environment and hide in the sand, providing an great camouflage to hunt for food, such as fish spawn, shrimps and small fish.

Can you see the flounder in this picture?

European Flounder hiding in the sandEuropean Flounder (Flickr commons-OCEANA/Carlos Minguell)

-Pygmy seahorse

The pygmy seahorse is the smallest seahorse species in the world. She is both tiny and well camouflaged.

She is very difficult to spot amongst the sea grasses, soft corals, or sea fans where she lives.

Lots of seahorses use camouflage to disguise as coral or seaweed.

See the photo of the well-camouflaged pygmy seahorse on coral.

Can you see where the Pygmy seahorse is?

Pygmy Seahorse hidesPygmy Seahorse (Flickr commons- Steve Childs)

-Spider Decorator Crab

The spider decorator crab hides herself perfectly.

It decorates its brown body with sponges, shells, rocks and other items as a way to camouflage and blend in with its surroundings.

This carefully chosen decoration is helped by its disguise by day, and freezing when predators are close.

Decorator crab blends inDecorator Crab(Wikimedia commons- Peter Southwood)

-Octopus

The octopus has an amazing ability to jet quickly through the water and hide. They inhabit many diverse regions of the ocean, including coral reefs and the ocean floor. They have numerous ways of defending themselves against predators. One way is to spray a cloud of ink to hide in and change the colour and texture of their skin to camouflage.

These colour changes allow them not only to camouflage, but is also used as communication when they are angry, frightened or receptive to mating.

There is an amazing video to see the octopus jet ink cloud quickly through the water and hide. Just click and watch:

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Please come back this Saturday for the seekers of the aquatic!

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The Mountains – The Seekers

This week’s seekers:

-Snow Leopard

Snow LeopardSnow Leopard (Flickr Commons-User Land Rover Our Planet)

The Snow Leopard is a strong animal that lives in the high mountains of Central and South Asia. The smoky gray fur with the black spots acts as a superb camouflage for these creatures in the mountain peaks. The Snow Leopard’s fur is the thickest of any cat! Can you see how thick the fur is in the picture?

Snow Leopards eat lots of different animals such as sheep, goats, boars and monkeys.

She uses color to blend in with the rocks where she lives. Also, her long tail helps her balance! They prefer to live in steep, cliff areas with rocky ravines. This kind of habitat provides good cover and clear views to help them sneak up on their prey. This can make them very difficult to spot!

Have a look at this amazing video of a Snow Leopard trying to snatch and eat a Mountain Goat!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSGikymKFlc

-Mountain Lion

MountainMountain Lion (Wikimedia Commons-Tony Hisgett)

Let’s have a look at this grumpy Mountain Lion! The Mountain Lion is a large wild cat that lives in America and Canada. She uses color to blend onto the mountains and forests where she lives. Compare the colour of this lion’s fur to the leopard’s fur. Do you remember why they would be different? The mountain lion lives below the snowy mountain peaks, so she is brown instead of white.

Have you ever seen a lion like this before? Her brown-orange color helps her to hide among the trees and leaves so she can attack the prey with her sharp claws and teeth!

Mountain Lions eat lots of different animals like deer, sheep, rabbits and raccoons.  These magnificent predators use natural colors to trick their prey in the environment where they live and hunt!

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The Mountains – The Hiders

Have you ever thought of any animals living on the high peak of a mountain?  What do you think they will look like? Have you ever thought that many different animals live on the mountains and use their camouflage to survive?

Mountain animals use their colour to help them live in such a dangerous environment.

Because mountains are so tall, their peaks are covered with snow. This means that animals that live near the peaks are white in colour and those who live below the peaks are brown. The Hyrax is brown because it lives below the peaks.

This week’s hiders:

-Mountain Goat

 Mountain GoatMountain Goat (Stock.xchng – Pasiphae)

Mountain Goats are large animals which live in the mountains of North America. Mountain Goats eat plants, grass, herbs and moss. Their fur is white and very fluffy, so it provides good camouflage and warmth on the snowy heights!

They tend to cling and move around steep slopes, like the one in the picture! Their hooves have special shapes to help them climb on the mountains and grip the rocks!

Watch this exciting video of Mountain Goats living among cliffs and dangerous slopes!  http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/goat_mountain

-The Hyrax

HyraxA pair of Hyrax (Stock.xchng – Revi82)

The Hyrax lives in the steep, rocky terrain in Africa. Even though they are so small, they are the closest living relative of the elephant.

The Hyrax eats plants, leaves and grass. When a hyrax is frightened by a predator, it uses its color by hiding against rocks.

Hyraxes growl, whistle and shriek to communicate. Can you growl or whistle?

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Please come back this Saturday for the seekers of the mountains!

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The Forest – The Seekers

The seekers of the week:

-Wily Wolves

Wolves are one of the best seekers in the woods.

Wolves are fast, strong and smart and will hunt together with other wolves to make sure none of them go hungry.

WolvesWolves (Stock.xchng – Quapaw)

There used to be lots of wild wolves in Britain but today there are none left. Wolves were so dangerous to people and farm animals in the past that they were hunted to extinction.

Wolves are very similar to dogs. There are lots of different breeds of wolves all over the world.

WolfWolf (Stock.xchng – Krappweis)

All wolves are fierce and cunning hunters who use their coloured fur to sneak up on food in the dark forests.

-Shadowy Swoopers

Wait! What was that dark shadow swooping past the moon just now?

You didn’t see anything? Maybe it was just my imagination…

Or, it could have been the perfect hunting technique of an owl!

Owls swoops in!Owl swoops in (Stock.xchng – Trexor14)

Owls mostly hunt at night. They eat small mice, birds or frogs which cannot see very well in the dark. This means the owl has the advantage in the night-time.

Owl’s wings have special feathers so they can fly without making a noise. This is very handy because a lot of owl’s favourite snacks have very good hearing!

Owls sleep during the daytime. Their feathers look like tree bark so no one can see them to bother them.

Sleepy OwlSleepy owl (Stoc.xchng – oscar73)

If you ever see a tree with great big eyes it is probably just an owl getting ready to take a nap!

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The Forest – The Hiders

A forrestA Forrest (Stoc.xchng – Krappweis)

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Trees are the most important plants in the world.

These big, leafy plants drink in sunlight and release a gas called oxygen which all living things need to breathe.

Lots of creatures make their homes in and around trees.

A large group of trees is called a wood or forest and is a great place to look for wild animals!

Forests cover almost one third of the entire planet earth!

There are lots of different types of trees. You can tell the difference by looking at their leaves and bark. How many different types do you know?

A forestA Forest (Stock.xchng – Krappweis)

This week’s hiders:

-Marvelous Moths

Moths and butterflies are insects which both need to lay their eggs on plants in woodlands.

Can you tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly? You might think that moths only come out at night but this is not always true!

A resting moth will always fold its wings flat, but a butterfly will hold them up in the air!

Moths are some of the biggest insects in the United Kingdom. This makes them a tasty meal for a bat or bird.

Lots of moths use camouflage to disguise themselves as tree bark. Can you see the moth in this picture?

MothMoth (Flckr Commons -Ryan)

How about this one?

MothMoth (Flikr Commons – RW Sinclair)

Moths will try to match themselves as close as they can to their background, so you will often only find dark coloured moths on dark backgrounds, and light coloured moths on light backgrounds. If you can spot them at all that is!

-Forest Frogs

Woodlands are full of hidden pools and bubbling streams. The perfect home for frogs!

Frogs are amphibious which means they can breathe underwater and on dry land.

They have wet, slimy skin which dries out easily so they normally live near lots of water.

A small frog is easy prey for a passing bird or fox. Frogs are normally dark brown or green to match the leaves of a forest floor.

If they are spotted by a hungry predator they will hop away with their long legs and try to hide.

FrogWood Frog (Stock.xchng – Meshoo)

This Wood Frog comes from North America. The brown patterns on its body look like shadows on fallen leaves. This means it can easily disappear on a leafy background.

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Please come back this Saturday for the seekers of the forest!

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The Tundra – The Seekers

This weeks Seekers:

-Polar Bear

Polar BearArctic Polar Bear (Wikimedia Commons-Alan D. Wilson)

Polar bears live in a cold place called the Arctic. The skin of the polar bear is black with white fur. They do not change their colour but their colour act as a camouflage in snow and ice. They are the largest predators in the world. They spent their time in the winter on ice and in the summer on land searching for prey.

Do you know their favourite food? The seals and small animals are mostly their prey. The polar bears use camouflage in order to attack and to be invisible to their prey. Usually, they hide in holes in the ice and when they see their prey, and then the polar bear grabs the seal.

They are the king of their environment and are very powerful predators and can wait for hours to catch the seals. The polar bears survive because they use camouflage. Can you imagine what they are looking for in the lake?

Polar BearPolar Bear (Stock.xchng-Creactions)

-The Snowy Owl

Snowy OwlSnowy Owl (Stock.xchng-Daan)

This Snowy Owl hunts mainly small mammals, insects or other birds. They sleep mostly during the day. What are they doing during the night? The owl’s eyes allow them to look for food in the dark and attack when their prey is sleeping.

Their colour acts as camouflage because they protect themselves from their predators. They can attack using their claws. Do you know how can they use their claws?

Owl’s claws are a powerful tool when swooping down, allowing them to grab and kill their prey. They have the ability to blend into their environment, using camouflage to make them hard to see. When they feel scared, they fluff up their feathers in order to look bigger to make their predators leave them alone.

-The Wildcat

WildcatWildcat (Wikimedia Commons-Aconcagua talk)

The wildcat is a small cat compared to a tiger, but it is larger than your housecat. They live in Europe and in areas with rocks. They use their sight and hearing help them to hunt their prey. Usually they kill small species like rabbits by grabbing them with their claws. Why this wildcat is looking so fierce?

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