Meerkat camouflage

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I first saw meerkats several years ago at a zoo. They looked comical in the way they kept popping up to attention, watching the zoo visitors. It wasn’t until much later that I realized their enclosure was too small and they were constantly at full alert because of the people wandering into their warning zone.

A few years later, the television show Meerkat Manor became popular as it followed the ins and outs of meerkat rivalries and inter-clan strife. Eventually I learned that meerkats are a species of mongoose.

Their mottled coats act as camouflage that helps them blend into their dry, grassy surroundings.

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Wolf-blanket camouflage

If you’ve ever succumbed to the temptation to buy one of those cheap, but very cuddly, plush blankets, you’ll appreciate this next LOLcat.

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Camouflage: similar shapes

This is pretty good!

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Camouflage

For animals as visual as we are, camouflage is powerful.

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This illustrates color matching and disruptive patterns.

Today’s camouflage will be white

Everything is covered with snow. But indoors you need different camouflage.

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Eastern Massassauga rattlesnake in Chicago

A postal worker saw an Eastern Massassauga rattler in front of his truck. The news article implies that he stopped before hitting it and perhaps herded it off the road. The Eastern Massassauga is an endangered species, wiped out over much of its former range.

Jon Vosburg found the four-foot snake slithering in front of his truck in North Barrington.

Vosburg sent the photo to animal control. They determined it was a rare Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake.

Vosburg says he is glad he didn’t run it over but he says he’ll look out for it from now on.

The Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake or Sistrurus catenatus catenatus. is a subspecies of Massassauga Rattler. It occurs in Ontario from Windsor and the Niagara Peninsula north to Georgian Bay and east to the Muskoka Lakes. In the United States, it is found from central New York to Iowa and Missouri.

Images are from the Canadian Museum of Nature.

You can read about rattlesnake conservation in Michigan.

Camouflage: dark

One of the most effective forms of camouflage for many terrains and backgrounds is simply dark. Dark brown or black or dark grey just blend into shadows. I’ve seen moose, from a distance, appear to vanish in a few strides; and I’ve heard one munching vegetation but I couldn’t see it, because only its chocolate-brown head was showing above water. Find the cat:

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