Camouflage is the use of any combination of materials, coloration, or illumination for concealment, either by making animals or objects hard to see (crypsis), or by disguising them as something else (mimesis). Examples include the leopard’s spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and the leaf-mimic katydid’s wings. A third approach, motion dazzle, confuses the observer with a conspicuous pattern, making the object visible but momentarily harder to locate.
The majority of research on camouflage aims to improve camouflage for hunting. This includes the research on animal coloration by naturalists such as Alfred Russel Wallace and Hugh Cott, which led to modern trends in military camouflage design.
In nature, avoidance behavior based on concealment is a comparatively common strategy among prey animals; but it is exceptional for predators to rely on camouflage for concealment. In fact, it has been shown that some species such as praying mantises actively use their phasic characteristics to mislead attackers.
Last modified: August 2, 2022