On the first day of April, many people play tricky pranks on their friends. Lots of animals are tricksters too! Nature has perfected the art of deception. Some devious insects and animals will copy coloration’s and patterns of poisonous or otherwise dangerous species’ to fake out their predators. This relatively common & very handy trick is known as mimicry. Mimicry is when a species benefits from evolving a feature that is displayed by another species. This feature could be anything from color, body shape, scent or behavior. Another strategy used to avoid being eaten is by employing camouflage techniques to blend into their surroundings in seconds and become barely detectable.
Thousands of creatures all over the world – including butterflies, moths, fish, birds, insects and snakes – have adapted to their surroundings and practiced mimicry & camouflage over hundreds of millions of years. By imitating other animals or their surroundings, nature’s fakers use these fascinating strategies to protect themselves, to attract and repel, to bluff and warn, to forage, and to hide.
In the spirit of April Fools Day, join us as we explore a few of nature’s tricksters & discover some of the coolest Masters of Disguise!
The advantages of mimicry are obvious for the members of the Animal Kingdom but how can humans benefit from nature’s ploys? Humans have been looking at nature for answers to both complex and simple problems since the beginning of time. This field of scientific study is called Biomimicry or Biomimetics. Biomimicry studies & takes inspiration from elements or processes in nature and uses them to solve human problems. Mimicry in nature has helped us solve many of today’s engineering problems such as wind resistance, harnessing solar energy and even human flight.
– Learn more about Biomimicry on AskNature.com
– Have FUN with this Find The Mimic Interactive Game from NationalGeographic.com