Todd Martin's Reviews > Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage

Dazzled and Deceived by Peter Forbes
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Mar 08, 10

bookshelves: environment-science
Read from February 23 to March 08, 2010

“Dazzled and Deceived” by Peter Forbes examines many of the mimicry and camouflage schemes animals have evolved to aid in their survival and reproduction and how human understanding of these designs has been applied for military purposes.

Mimicry and camouflage in the natural world has been a fascinating area of study for biologists from Darwin’s time to the present day and is used by both animals and plants as a survival strategy. Some of these strategies include: coloration to blend into surroundings (white polar bear on white snow), disruption using a blend of patterns intended to confuse predators (the stripes on a zebra), disguise (such as a stick insect), smoke screens (like a squid), mis-direction such as eye spots on butterflies, mimicking of an unpalatable or poisonous creature (such as a king snakes mimicry of a coral snake) and others. All are wonderful examples of natural selection at work.

Humans have taken lessons learned from nature and applied it to our everyday lives by making items stand out (such as traffic signs – which employ the same color nature uses to advertise dangerous creatures) or fade into the background (such as military camouflage).
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