An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Adaptations For Survival

1-25-19 gray screech-owl _u1a9516Mimicry, warning coloration and camouflage are three of the many ways in which animals have adapted in order to survive.

Mimicry, when an animal looks or acts like another organism, is illustrated by the Viceroy butterfly which looks remarkably like a Monarch. Warning coloration often makes predators aware of an organism’s toxicity – Red Efts are a prime example. Camouflage, or cryptic coloration, where an animal resembles its surroundings in coloration, form or movement, is exemplified by Eastern Screech-Owls. Not only is their color pattern that of tree bark, but they often stretch upwards and freeze in an upright position, closing their eyes to prevent reflection in their eyes from announcing their presence to predators or prey.

Eastern Screech-Owls come in three color morphs, rufous (https://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/eastern-screech-owls-basking/) gray, and (rarely) brown. (Thanks to Marc Beerman and Howard Muscott for photo op.)

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9 responses

  1. Rosalind Finn

    Totally amazing. And Homo Sapiens think THEY are so clever! The natural world out does us all the time! Thank you so much for your postings.

    February 1, 2019 at 8:44 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    What a beautiful capture!

    February 1, 2019 at 9:07 am

  3. Clyde Jenne

    Is that why we find you camouflaged in your automobile?

    February 1, 2019 at 9:10 am

    • Deborah Luquer

      It’s why I close my eyes when near a cop when I’m driving.

      February 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

      • You are priceless!!

        February 1, 2019 at 10:11 am

  4. Deborah Luquer

    A glorious moment

    February 1, 2019 at 9:44 am

  5. Martha Slone

    Ha Just taught about this very thing last week! Thanks for your wonderful posts.

    Martha Slone, Teacher Naturalist Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary Mass Audubon

    On Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 8:37 AM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: “Mimicry, warning coloration and camouflage are three > of the many ways in which animals have adapted in order to survive. > Mimicry, when an animal looks or acts like another organism, is illustrated > by the Viceroy butterfly which looks remarkably like a ” >

    February 1, 2019 at 12:35 pm

  6. Susan Holland

    What a great photograph!!!

    February 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm

  7. Rita

    I feel so inadequate!

    February 2, 2019 at 11:15 am

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