Mimicry in the Wild

Mimicry+in+the+Wild

Martin Atlanov, Journalist

Fun Fact! Did you know that there are impersonators in the wild? This is known as Mimicry. Mimicry is when one animal looks like another animal or object, but aren’t actually the same species! Mimicry is often used to either trick prey, or trick predators to look more scary. These “mimics” will try everything they can to deceive their prey/predators. They go so far as also moving like what they are trying to mimic and even sounding like it.

One great example of this is the stick bug! The stick bug (also known as the walkingstick) is a long invertebrate that looks exactly like a twig. The walking stick uses this to hide from predators because it’s a herbivore. These insects can grow to be massive! (up to 63 centimeters!!) But no need to worry, the average size is 5 cm to 30 cm. My favorite part about the walkingstick is that it can also act like it is swaying in the wind!

 

Another amazing example of this is the Frogfish! The frogfish is amazing at camouflage because some species can change color and it also picks up debris and coral and uses that to make itself look like a part of its surroundings. They generally live on the ocean floor and near coral reefs because those are the best spots to hide at. Fun fact; The frogfish is related to anglerfish so that explains why it’s a master at tricking prey.

 

The last animal I am going to talk about today is the Arctic Hare. The arctic hare is a rabbit that grows snow white fur during the winter and brown fur during the summer. The white fur of the arctic hare helps it blend in with the snow immaculately. It does this to help escape predators like coyotes, foxes, owls, and hawks. The brown fur helps it blend in with the trees and dirt since all of the snow has melted. The fur it grows is quite thick during the winter and thins down during the summer because the arctic hare is very adaptive.