Contest Directions: Many underwater species are true masters of camouflage - their coloring was a successful evolutionary strategy, which allowed them to blend with environment and hide from their natural predators.
In this contest you are asked to photoshop any animals (except humans) giving them paint jobs to blend with environment (house, nature, office, etc.). We encourage (but don't require) you to submit entries showing any animals in urban environment, and their camouflage paint-jobs to blend with a street, office (etc.) where they are located.
Here's a good example 1, and example 2.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Animal camouflage can take several forms:
1. Natural camouflage — the protective (masking) color of animals appeared as the result of adaptation to surrounding areas. Some types, for example, the chameleon or flatfish, are capable of changing their body color to suit the color of their environment.
2. Camouflage — the protective (masking) paint used for reducing the perception of people, equipment, buildings so that they blend in with the surrounding locality.
3. Camouflage (colloquial) — a dress having a camouflaging color.
Generally camouflage is used by the armed forces and hunters; however elements of camouflaging dress are used also in day to day life (the so called "military" style). There is single color and multicolor camouflage. The most "popular" color, the single shade camouflage, is normally associated with a khaki color. For masking in different types of forests, in deserts, in snow etc. there are many color setups.
Mimicry (imitation, masking, in French - mimétisme, in English - mimicry) — the expression introduced in zoology for the first time by Baits for designating the special cases of extreme external similarities between the different types of animals belonging to different species and even families and brigades; usually, however, the same name is designated for rarely expressed cases of copying colors and similarities of animals with inanimate objects.
The copying of color
Wallace especially studied the phenomena from the point of view of Darwin's theory of natural selection. The phenomena mostly and widely spread and were known for a long time as common conformance, the harmony in color of animal with place of habitation. Among the arctic animals, a white body color is very popular, for some of them during a whole year: white bear, polar owl, Greenland falcons; for others living in localities, which are free from snow during summer the brown color is changed to white only during winter: arctic fox, common weasel, rabbit-white hare. The advantage of this kind of adaptation is obvious.
Another example of widely spread protective or camouflaging in harmonic colors is noticed in the deserts of the globe. Insects, lizards, birds and beast have a vast selection of forms of sand color, in all possible shades; this is noticed not only on small creatures, but also on such big creatures like on steppe antelopes, lions or camels. In general, each hunter knows how imitating color protects animals from the view of enemies; hazel grouse, woodcock, double snipe, partridge are also examples of this.
Predator and victims:
In other cases camouflage similarity for predators serves as a means of waylaying and even a means of attracting food, for example for many spiders. Different types of insects from the group of mantis (Mantidae) in India possess a similarity with a flower by remaining unmovable. This flower is used for attracting the insects for catching.
There are bright colored insects, which as per different reasons (for example, because they are equipped with a sting or owing to the ability to emit substances of poisonous or repulsive smells and tastes) are relatively protected from the aggression of enemies; and close to them there are other types of insects not having protective adaptations, but as per their external appearance and color having a deceptive similarity with their colleagues, who are protected well. Butterflies from the Heliconidae family are very popular in tropical America. They have big, delicate, bright colored wings with the same color on both sides — top and bottom; their flight is weak and slow, they never hide, and land always openly on the upper side of leaves or flowers; they can be easily identified from other butterflies and noticed from afar. They possess liquids with a strong smell; and as per the observations of many authors, birds do not eat them and their touch; smell and taste serve as protection for them. Their bright color has a warning sign; their huge population, slow flight and habit of not hiding anywhere can be explained by this. In the same localities, some other types of butterflies from the family Leptalis and Euterpe fly, belonging to other groups as per the structure of the head, legs and venation Pieridae; but as per the common shape and color of the wings they are similar to the heliconide, and are generally mixed up in amateur collections. These butterflies do not possess upsetting liquids and tastes like the heliconidae and the result of which they are not protected from insect eating birds; but having an external similarity with heliconidae and flying along with them slowly and openly, they avoid being attacked. In respect of population, they are much less – one leptalide to several tens and even hundreds of heliconidaes; unprotected leptalides lost in a group of well protected heliconidaes protect themselves from their enemies because of their similarity with helicanidaes. This is called masking, М. Similar examples are known from different brigades of insects and not only between the closer groups, but also often between the representatives of different brigades; there are flies similar to bumble bees, butterflies imitating wasps etc. In all these cases the М. characterizes in the form of life or mutual dependency of both similar types. Like that, flies from the Volucella species, owing to their similarity with bumble bees or wasps can penetrate the nests of these insects with impunity and lay eggs; where the larva of the flies live like the owners of nest.