Adaptations, Mimicry, and Camouflage
(and why animals need it)
Animals use camouflage and mimicry every day to survive and find prey. For instance, the stick bug (also known as the walking stick) moves, acts, and looks like a stick. Animals also need adaptations to live. For example, in the rainforest, animals and plants have to adapt to the humidity, rain, and the low light (due to rainforest canopy).
Camouflage helps animals blend into their environment so they can hunt, but also hide from predators. The leaf-litter toads in Central America, for example, live on the forest floor and look just like fallen leaves. When the toads camouflage or blend into the environment, they are less likely to be seen by predators. Octopi also use camouflage to get their prey, when they blend into their environment, their prey can’t see them and when the prey gets close enough, the octopus strikes and eats its prey. Camouflage is very important so that animals can not only hide from predators but also help the animal be the predator getting its prey.
There are two types of mimicry physical mimicry and behavioral mimicry, both of these forms of mimicry not only protect animals from predators but also help predators to attract their prey. Physical mimicry is like having a costume of another animal (that may be deadly or poisonous) and you wear that costume, all day, every day. Behavioral mimicry is where another plant or animal behaves in a way that mimics another plant or animal’s behavior. Many animals use physical mimicry to defend themselves. For example, the viceroy butterfly looks almost identical to the monarch butterfly (birds find monarch butterflies distasteful and will stay away from them). Many animals rely on mimicry to defend themselves and many animals also use it to lure in prey, no matter how they use it, mimicry will always be important.
Adaptations are something that plants and animals do to help them adapt to where they live. In the rainforest for example, plants have to adapt to the dense rain in the rainforest, they did this by making adjustments in how they grew. Lots of plants in the rainforest grow super fast this causes depletion of nutrients in soil, it also creates a thick canopy (of leaves) that blocks most sunlight from reaching the forest floor. One adaptation that plants have made is that they grow up (like vines) to reach sunlight, another adaptation is plants grow really big leaves to absorb as much sunlight as possible. Fungus and bacteria thrive in the rainforest, they grow in little crevices in plants that have trapped water (fungus and bacteria can kill plants). One adaptation that plants have made is that they developed smooth bark, they also developed drip trips on the end of their leaves to keep water from collecting on leaves. All in all adaptations are needed so that plants and animals can survive.