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Encyclopedia > Camouflage
Countershaded Ibex are almost invisible in the Israeli desert.
Countershaded Ibex are almost invisible in the Israeli desert.
Lizard fish (to the right of the green rock), Big Island of Hawaii

Camouflage, also known as cryptic coloration or concealing coloration, allows an otherwise visible organism or object to remain indiscernible from the surrounding environment. Examples include a tiger's stripes and the battledress of a modern soldier. Camouflage is a form of deception. Camouflage may refer to Look up camouflage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Ibexes in the Israeli desert. ... Image File history File links Ibexes in the Israeli desert. ... Countershading employed by the grey reef shark. ... Species Capra ibex Capra nubiana Capra pyrenaica Capra sibirica Capra walie An ibex, also called steinbock, is a type of wild mountain goat with large recurved horns that are transversely ridged in front. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,632 × 1,224 pixels, file size: 430 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,632 × 1,224 pixels, file size: 430 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Life on Earth redirects here. ... An example of how an object could appear to be invisible through the use of mirrors Invisibility is the state of an object which cannot be seen. ... For other uses, see Tiger (disambiguation). ... US Army soldiers wearing the new Army Combat Uniform, Desert Camouflage Uniform, and a World War II-era uniform (L to R) Battledress is a general term for the military uniform worn into combat, as opposed to display dress and formal uniforms worn at parades and functions. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...

Contents

Etymology

The word camouflage comes from the French term camoufler, Parisian slang meaning 'to disguise', which in turn is derived from Italian camuffare, of the same meaning. The alteration of the word may have been influenced by the existing word camouflet 'puff of smoke' (cf. smoke screen). In the First World War the British Navy used the term dazzle-painting (cf. dazzle camouflage.)[1] This article is about the capital of France. ... A U.S. Army Humvee laying a smoke screen A smoke-screen is a release of smoke in order to mask the movement or location of military units such as infantry, tanks or ships. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... USS (DD-697) shown here in dazzle camouflage, June 1944. ...


Natural camouflage

Further information: Crypsis
Crab with algae all over its body at Moss Beach, California
Crab with algae all over its body at Moss Beach, California

In nature, there is a strong evolutionary pressure for animals to blend into their environment or conceal their shape; for prey animals to avoid predators and for predators to be able to sneak up on prey. Natural camouflage is one method that animals use to meet these. There are a number of methods of doing so. One is for the animal to blend in with its surroundings, while another is for the animal to disguise itself as something uninteresting or something dangerous. Crypsis is a phenomena where an organisms appearance allows it to blend well into its environment. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,632 × 1,224 pixels, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,632 × 1,224 pixels, file size: 1. ... For other uses, see Crab (disambiguation). ... Algae have conventionally been regarded as simple plants within the study of botany. ...


There is a permanent co-evolution of the sensory abilities of animals for whom it is beneficial to be able to detect the camouflaged animal, and the cryptic characteristics of the concealing species. Different aspects of crypsis and sensory abilities may be more or less pronounced in given predator-prey pairs of species. Senses are the physiological methods of perception. ... Crypsis is a phenomena where an organisms appearance allows it to blend well into its environment. ...


Some cryptic animals also simulate natural movement, e.g., of a leaf in the wind. This is called procryptic behaviour or habit. Other animals attach or attract natural materials to their body for concealment.


A few animals have chromatic response, changing color in changing environments, either seasonally (ermine, snowshoe hare) or far more rapidly with chromatophores in their integument (chameleon, the cephalopod family). The ermine (Mustela erminea) is a dark brown weasel, with a distinctive black-tipped tail. ... Binomial name Lepus americanus Erxleben, 1777 The Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) is a species of hare found in North America. ... Zebrafish chromatophores mediate background adaptation on exposure to dark (top) and light environments (bottom). ... For other uses, see Chameleon (disambiguation). ... Orders Subclass Nautiloidea †Plectronocerida †Ellesmerocerida †Actinocerida †Pseudorthocerida †Endocerida †Tarphycerida †Oncocerida †Discosorida Nautilida †Orthocerida †Ascocerida †Bactritida Subclass †Ammonoidea †Goniatitida †Ceratitida †Ammonitida Subclass Coleoidea †Belemnoidea †Aulacocerida †Belemnitida †Hematitida †Phragmoteuthida Neocoleoidea (most living cephalopods) ?†Boletzkyida Sepiida Sepiolida Spirulida Teuthida Octopoda Vampyromorphida The cephalopods (Greek plural (kephalópoda); head-foot) are the mollusk class...


Some animals, notably in aquatic environments, also take steps to camouflage the odours they create that may attract predators.[citation needed]


Some herd animals adopt a similar pattern to make it difficult to distinguish a single animal. Examples include stripes on zebras and the reflective scales on fish.


Countershading (or obliterative camouflage), the use of different colors on upper and lower surfaces in graduating tones from a light belly to a darker back, is common in the sea and on land. This is sometimes called Thayer's law, after Abbott H. Thayer who published a paper on the form in 1896. Countershading employed by the grey reef shark. ...


Cryptic coloration

Fish blending with Fire corals at Fuji
Fish blending with Fire corals at Fuji

This is the most common form of camouflage, found to some extent in the majority of species. The simplest way is for an animal to be of a color similar to its surroundings. Examples include the "earth tones" of deer, squirrels, or moles (to match trees or dirt), or the combination of blue skin and white underbelly of sharks via countershading (which makes them difficult to detect from both above and below). More complex patterns can be seen in animals such as flounder, moths, and frogs, among many others. Some forms of camouflage use contrasting shades to break up the visual outline, as on a gull or zebra. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,632 × 1,224 pixels, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,632 × 1,224 pixels, file size: 1. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Fuji is: Mount Fuji, a mountain in Japan Fuji River, a river in Japan Fuji Speedway, a major race track at the base of Mt Fuji Mt. ... This article is about the ruminent animal. ... This article is about the animal. ... For other uses, see Mole. ... For other uses, see Shark (disambiguation). ... Countershading employed by the grey reef shark. ... Flounder or flukes are flatfish that live in ocean waters ie. ... For other uses, see Moths A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly. ... Distribution of frogs (in black) Suborders Archaeobatrachia Mesobatrachia Neobatrachia - List of Anuran families The frogness babe is an amphibian in the order Anura (meaning tail-less from Greek an-, without + oura, tail), formerly referred to as Salientia (Latin saltare, to jump). ... “Seagull” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Zebra (disambiguation). ...


The type of camouflage a species will develop depends on several factors:

  • The environment in which it lives. This is usually the most important factor.
  • The physiology and behavior of an animal. Animals with fur need different camouflage than those with feathers or scales. Likewise, animals who live in groups use different camouflage techniques than those that are solitary.
  • If the animal is preyed upon, then the behavior or characteristics of its predator can influence how the camouflage develops. For example, if the predator has achromatic vision, then the animal will not need to match the color of its surroundings.

Animals produce colors in two ways: This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Fur (disambiguation). ... Two feathers Feathers are one of the epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds. ... In this SEM image of a butterfly wing the scales are clearly visible, and the tiny platelets on each individual scale are just barely visible in the striping. ... ...

  • Biochromes — natural microscopic pigments that absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect others, creating a visible color that is targeted towards its primary predator.
  • Microscopic physical structures, which act like prisms to reflect and scatter light to produce a color that is different from the skin, such as the translucent fur of the Polar Bear, which actually has black skin.

Camouflage coloration can change as well. This can be due to just a changing of the seasons, or it can be in response to more rapid environmental changes. For example, the Arctic fox has a white coat in winter, and a brown coat in summer. Mammals and birds require a new fur coat and new set of feathers respectively, but some animals, such as cuttlefish, have deeper-level pigment cells, called chromatophores, that they can control. Other animals such as certain fish species or the nudibranch can actually change their skin coloration by changing their diet. However, the most well-known creature that changes color, the chameleon, usually does not do so for camouflage purposes, but instead to express its mood. Zebrafish chromatophores mediate background adaptation on exposure to dark (top) and light environments (bottom). ... Natural Ultramarine pigment in powdered form. ... For other uses, see Wavelength (disambiguation). ... If a shaft of light entering a prism is sufficiently narrow, a spectrum results. ... Transparent glass ball In optics, transparency is the property of allowing light to pass. ... This article is about the animal. ... This article is about the animal. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including those that produce milk, and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... Orders and Families †Vasseuriina †Vasseuriidae †Belosepiellidae Sepiina †Belosaepiidae Sepiadariidae Sepiidae Cuttlefish are marine animals of the order Sepiida belonging to the Cephalopoda class (which also includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses). ... Zebrafish chromatophores mediate background adaptation on exposure to dark (top) and light environments (bottom). ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Infraorders Anthobranchia Cladobranchia See text for superfamilies. ... For other uses, see Chameleon (disambiguation). ...

A mackerel tabby cat blending with its (autumn) environment.

Beyond colors, skin patterns are often helpful in camouflage as well. This can be seen in common domestic pets such as tabby cats, but striping overall in other animals such as tigers and zebras help them blend into their environment, the jungle and the grasslands respectively. The latter two provide an interesting example, as one's initial impression might be that their coloration does not match their surroundings at all, but tigers' prey are usually color blind to a certain extent such that they cannot tell the difference between orange and green, and zebras' main predators, lions, are color blind. In the case of zebras, the stripes also blend together so that a herd of zebras looks like one large mass, making it difficult for a lion to pick out any individual zebra. This same concept is used by many striped fish species as well. Among birds, the white "chinstraps" of Canada geese make a flock in tall grass appear more like sticks and less like birds' heads. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 799 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,600 × 1,201 pixels, file size: 333 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) A mackerel tabby blending with its (autumn) environment. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 799 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,600 × 1,201 pixels, file size: 333 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) A mackerel tabby blending with its (autumn) environment. ... Tabby redirects here. ... A mackerel tabby, with vertical stripes and white socks. The characteristic M can be easily seen on its forehead. ... For other uses, see Tiger (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Zebra (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Lion (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Branta canadensis (Linnaeus, 1758) The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), colloquially Canadian Goose in North America, belongs to the Branta genus of geese, which contains species with largely black plumage, distinguishing them from the grey Anser species. ...


Mimicry

Main article: Mimicry
Green Anole exhibits mimicry by resembling a leaf.

Mimicry describes a situation where one organism, the mimic, has evolved to share common outward characteristics with another organism, the model, through the selective action of a signal-receiver. The model is usually another species, or less commonly, the mimic's own species, including automimicry, where one part of the body bears superficial similarity to another. The signal-receiver is typically another intermediate organism, e.g the common predator of two species, but may actually be the model itself. As an interaction, mimicry is always advantageous to the mimic and harmful to the receiver, but may either increase or reduce the fitness of the model. The distinction between mimicry and camouflage is arbitrarily defined in that the model in camouflage is not another organism; the arbitrary nature of this distinction between the two phenomena can be seen by considering animals that resemble twigs, bark, leaves or flowers, in that they are often classified as camouflaged (a plant does constitute the "surroundings"), but sometimes classified as mimics (a plant is also an organism). The more general category that encompasses such examples, therefore, is crypsis. Though mimicry is most obvious to humans in visual mimics, they may also use olfactory (smell) or auditory signals, and more than one type of signal may be employed.[2] Mimicry may involve morphology, behavior, and other properties. In any case, the signal always functions to deceive the receiver by providing misleading information. Mimicry differs from camouflage in which a species appears similar to its surroundings. In evolutionary biology terms, this phenomenon is a form of co-evolution involving an evolutionary arms race, and should not be confused with convergent evolution, which occurs when species come to resemble one another independently due to similar lifestyles. For other uses, see Mimic (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 662 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,858 × 1,683 pixels, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 662 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,858 × 1,683 pixels, file size: 1. ... For other uses, see Mimic (disambiguation). ... This article is about biological evolution. ... For other uses, see Selection (disambiguation). ... Biological interactions result from the fact that organisms in an ecosystem interact with each other, in the natural world, no organism is an autonomous entity isolated from its surroundings. ... Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... Crypsis is a phenomena where an organisms appearance allows it to blend well into its environment. ... Vision can refer to: Visual perception is one of the senses. ... Olfaction, the sense of smell, is the detection of chemicals dissolved in air (or, by animals that breathe water, in water). ... The auditory system is the sensory system for the sense of hearing. ... Within evolutionary biology, signalling theory refers to the scientific theory around how organisms signal their condition to others. ... The term morphology in biology refers to the outward appearance (shape, structure, colour, pattern) of an organism or taxon and its component parts. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The ASCII codes for the word Wikipedia represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly used for encoding computer information. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Bumblebees and the flowers they pollinate have co-evolved so that both have become dependent on each other for survival. ... An evolutionary arms race is an evolutionary struggle between a predator species and its prey (including parasitism) that is said to resemble an arms race. ... In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is the process whereby organisms not closely related, independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. ...


Mimics may have multiple models during different stages of their life cycle, or they may be polymorphic, with different individuals imitating different models. Models themselves may have more than one mimic, though frequency dependent selection favors mimicry where models outnumber hosts. Models tend to be relatively closely related organisms,[3] but mimicry of vastly different species is also known. Most known mimics are insects[2], though other mimics including mammals are known. A life cycle is a period involving one generation of an organism through means of reproduction, whether through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction. ... In general, polymorphism describes multiple possible states for a single property (it is said to be polymorphic). ... Frequency dependent selection is the term given to an evolutionary process where the fitness of a phenotype is dependent on its frequency relative to other phenotypes in a given population. ... A group of organisms is said to have common descent if they have a common ancestor. ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including those that produce milk, and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex...


Military camouflage

A modern example of military camouflage. Pictured is a US Naval Corpsman wearing desert MARPAT camouflage.
Main article: Military camouflage

Camouflage was not in wide use in early western civilisation based warfare. 19th century armies tended to use bright colors and bold, impressive designs. These were intended to daunt the enemy, attract recruits, foster unit cohesion, or allow easier identification of units in the fog of war. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2048 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2048 pixel, file size: 1. ... General Hagee (CMC) in MARPAT combat utilities Marines wearing woodland MARPAT during Exercise Talisman Saber 2007 at Shoalwater Bay, Australia. ... An example of common camouflage The Bronze Horseman camouflaged from the German aircraft during the Siege of Leningrad (August 8, 1941) Camouflage became an essential part of modern military tactics after the increase in accuracy and rate of fire of weapons at the end of the 19th century. ... The fog of war is a term used to describe the level of ambiguity in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations. ...


Smaller, irregular units of scouts in the 18th century were the first to adopt colors in drab shades of brown and green. Major armies retained their color until convinced otherwise. The British in India in 1857 were forced by casualties to dye their red tunics to neutral tones, initially a muddy tan called khaki (from the Urdu word for 'dusty'). White tropical uniforms were dyed by the simple expedient of soaking them in tea. This was only a temporary measure. It became standard in Indian service in the 1880s, but it was not until the Second Boer War that, in 1902, the uniforms of the entire British army were standardized on this dun tone for battledress. Other armies, such as the United States, Russia, Italy, and Germany followed suit either with khaki, or with other colors more suitable for their environments. Mixed reconnaissance patrol of the Polish Home Army and the Soviet Red Army during Operation Tempest, 1944 Reconnaissance is the military term for the active gathering of information about an enemy, or other conditions, by physical observation. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The color khaki comes from the Persian word khak meaning dust, and khaki meaning dusty, dust covered or earth colored. ... Urdu ( , , trans. ... Combatants British Empire Orange Free State South African Republic Commanders Sir Redvers Buller Lord Kitchener Lord Roberts Paul Kruger Louis Botha Koos de la Rey Martinus Steyn Christiaan de Wet Casualties 6,000 - 7,000 (A further ~14,000 from disease) 6,000 - 8,000 (Unknown number from disease) Civilians... US Army soldiers wearing the new Army Combat Uniform, Desert Camouflage Uniform, and a World War II-era uniform (L to R) Battledress is a general term for the military uniform worn into combat, as opposed to display dress and formal uniforms worn at parades and functions. ...


Camouflage netting, natural materials, disruptive colour patterns, and paint with special infrared, thermal, and radar qualities have also been used on military vehicles, ships, aircraft, installations and buildings.


See also

Illustrating the concept, i. ... The colours of animals have been a topic of interest in modern biology. ... The bright colours of this Yellow-winged Darter dragonfly serve as a warning to predators of its noxious taste. ... Everett Warner (July 16, 1877 – October 20, 1963) was an American Impressionist painter and printmaker, who, perhaps more importantly, was also a leading contributor to US Navy camouflage during both World Wars. ...

References

  • Harris, Tom. How Animal Camouflage Works. How Stuff Works. Retrieved on 2006-11-13.
  • How do a zebra's stripes act as camouflage?. How Stuff Works. Retrieved on 2006-11-13.
  • Roy R. Behrens - Art and Camouflage: An Annotated Bibliography
  • Behrens, Roy R. (2002). FALSE COLORS: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage. Bobolink Books. ISBN 0-9713244-0-9. 
  • Newark, Tim (2007). Camouflage. Thames and Hudson, and Imperial War Museum. ISBN 978-0-500-51347-7. 
  • Goodden, Henrietta (2007). Camouflage and Art: Design for Deception in World War 2. Unicorn Press. ISBN 978-0-906290-87-3. 
  • Jon Latimer, Deception in War, London: John Murray, 2001.
  • Everett L. Warner, “The Science of Marine Camouflage Design” in Transactions of the Illuminating Engineering Society 14 (5) 1919, pp. 215-219.
  • Everett L. Warner, “Fooling the Iron Fish: The Inside Story of Marine Camouflage” in Everybody’s Magazine (November 1919), pp. 102-109.

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Jon Latimer is a historian and writer based in Wales. ... Everett Warner (July 16, 1877 – October 20, 1963) was an American Impressionist painter and printmaker, who, perhaps more importantly, was also a leading contributor to US Navy camouflage during both World Wars. ... Everett Warner (July 16, 1877 – October 20, 1963) was an American Impressionist painter and printmaker, who, perhaps more importantly, was also a leading contributor to US Navy camouflage during both World Wars. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ a b Wickler, W. 1968. Mimicry in plants and animals. McGraw-Hill, New York
  3. ^ Campbell, N. A. (1996) Biology (4th edition), Chapter 50. Benjamin Cummings, New York ISBN 0-8053-1957-3

Neil A. Campbell (1946–October 21, 2004) was an American scientist known best for his Biology textbook. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:


Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...

Topics in evolutionary ecology
v  d  e
Patterns of evolution: Convergent evolutionEvolutionary relayParallel evolution
Signals: AposematismMimicryCrypsis
Interactions between species: MutualismPredationParasitism

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