Chiao, Chuan-Chin Department of Life Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.
Hanlon, Roger T. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:March 2019
Show previous versions
- Hide in plain sight
- Camouflage body pattern types
- Cephalopod dynamic camouflage
- The eye as a sensor of diverse visual backgrounds
- Camouflage in the eyes of the beholder
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A method used by animals to conceal themselves from an enemy by appearing to be a section of the natural background. Animal camouflage is a strategy that animal organisms use to avoid or deflect the attacks of predators by misleading the latter's visual senses. With the use of camouflage, animals can blend in with their surroundings (Fig. 1). In general, visual camouflage is recognized as one of the commonest and most powerful forces in natural selection and is found in nearly every ecosystem on Earth; yet, curiously, it is one of the least-studied phenomena in biology. Camouflage patterns (resulting from pigmentation, which is the property of biological materials to impart coloration) have evolved in animals of every size and shape, including both invertebrates and vertebrates, and occur in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Camouflage is even employed at night, which is a seemingly odd notion until it is realized that many nocturnal predators have specialized visual systems for seeing well under lighting conditions that humans cannot perceive. See also: Behavioral ecology; Physiological ecology (animal); Pigmentation; Predator-prey interactions; Protective coloration
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information