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:
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 (Flickr commons-OCEANA/Carlos Minguell)
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 (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(Wikimedia commons- Peter Southwood)
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:
Please come back this Saturday for the seekers of the aquatic!