Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Perfect Camouflage

Many creatures in the animal world have evolved over time and developed themselves to blend in with their environment. This is usually for protection, but sometimes predators use it to conceal themselves during a stalk. I am fascinated by these creatures and how they have developed and used their appearance. I think the most intriguing evolution designs are found in the insect world. I was photographing the other day in the Missouri Botanical Gardens Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri. I photographed a butterfly that has developed a near perfect camouflage.

When I showed this photograph to several people, there comment was "It looks like a dead leaf" Exactly! Look closer. Meet the Malaysian Dead Leaf Butterfly. When this butterfly opens up and flies, the topside of his wings has a beautiful color pattern. When it lands and closes up, it blends in so well it is almost impossible to detect. I watched a dozen people walk right by it and no one noticed it. Even while I was photographing it people stopped to ask what I was taking a picture of. I had to point it out and they had to get very close to even make out that it was a butterfly.

Just one more example of nature's amazing creatures.

Malaysian Dead Leaf Butterfly

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