Animal Camouflage by Adolf Portmann PDF

By Adolf Portmann

The rugged define of a mountain top feels like a human face; the markings on a moth express a cranium and crossbones. Mere coincidences we are saying, and brush off the problem as one other freak of nature. but if we encounter an animal that appears like a leaf or a spray, we start to ask yourself. This likeness needs to be greater than chance--it needs to play a major half within the animal's survival. This brings us directly to the crux of our challenge: the functionality of outward appearances.

We have all visible bugs which are the colour of bark and brooding pheasant hens whose feathers look like the fleeting shadows in their nesting floor. We can have chanced upon a moth whose merely security is the coloring that makes it resemble a wasp. each one of those animals pretends to be anything it isn't, and it does this that allows you to live on. glossy armies use camouflage to guard their infantrymen, weapons, ships, and army installations; the result's facts optimistic of the shielding worth of such concepts. The reader should not stunned then, if we inform him that our topic has performed a favorite half in all discussions concerning the beginning and the evolution of residing organisms. Charles Darwin used to be one of many first to emphasize the significance of camouflage, and because his day the topic has shaped one of many strands of organic conception.

This isn't to claim that the experts all agree. What a few decide to clarify as camouflage, others describe in altogether diverse phrases. a bunch of experimenters has got down to end up a number of the theories, yet continually with excellent medical detachment. the matter of mimicry, particularly, has develop into a veritable no man's land of organic battle.

These are issues our publication will discover. Casting our look over an enormous canvas, we will attempt to hint the
meaning of a few of the colourful brush strokes that went into its portray.

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Extra info for Animal Camouflage

Sample text

This is particularly the case with "the actor" (Histrio), which carries on its hidden life amid the golden sargassum ( Fig. 59 ). Related species live amid the coral reefs, and all of them are experts at performing the vanishing trick. Resemblance to Bark, Twigs, and Lichen While some animals resemble leaves, others prefer to imitate bark. All flat surfaces are as if made for this purpose, and many moths, particularly the geometrids, have but to spread their wings to resemble the trees on which they come to rest.

Com Publication Information: Book Title: Animal Camouflage. Contributors: Adolf Portmann - author. Publisher: University of Michigan Press. Place of Publication: Ann Arbor, MI. Publication Year: 1959. Page Number: 56. 54 title FIG. 66. The Malagasy weevil (Lithinus nigrocristatus) resembles lichen. 67). Even greater is the bark-lichen resemblance of the Malagasy bug (Flatoides dealbatus) whose flattened wing covers bear conspicuous lichen markings ( Fig. 68 ). The caterpillars of many Lepidoptera have become famous for their resemblance to twigs.

Page Number: 63. 61 title mantids display conspicuous eyespots beneath their forelegs ( Fig. 74a ). Our Burmese mantid is of such great interest because it is an example of alluring and threatening features combined. The same combination of effects is characteristic of many animals and may mislead investigators. Thus, naturalists are not sure whether an African relative (Idolum diabolicum) is to be looked upon as a diabolical flower trap or as a self-protector. The insect has a pearlwhite and flattened protothorax with a sea-green edge and, when threatened, displays the carmine coxae of its front legs ( Fig.

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Animal Camouflage by Adolf Portmann

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