Some reptiles, such as chameleons, can change their color to camouflage themselves. These reptiles are often kept as pets.
New research shows that Aegean wall lizards are better able to blend with the rocks on which they rest. They also choose resting sites that accentuate their camouflage against avian predators.
Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) is a very venomous snake that can cause death if not treated immediately after being bitten. The venom of the Gaboon Viper is comprised of proteolytic enzymes that are able to destroy tissue cells and disrupt blood clotting.
The Gaboon Viper is a ground-dwelling serpent that can grow to lengths of over 6 feet and weigh 30 pounds. It is native to West African rainforests and prefers to hide in leaf-strewn jungle floors. These sedentary predators use 레오파드게코 their beautiful geometrically patterned skin to camouflage themselves amongst the foliage.
Their skin is a silver-gray to tan color that is interrupted by varying widths of black. The thin pencil-lines that make up the black pattern on the Gaboon Viper’s scales fade into the dappled shadows of the forest floor, and they effectively hide the snake from its prey.
As with other vipers, the Gaboon Viper relies on its venom to catch and kill its prey. These snakes are sluggish and ambush their prey from the underside of a tree or rock.
These snakes have the heaviest venom of any snake species in Africa and are ranked 16th most toxic by weight. Despite their deadly potency, bites are relatively rare in the wild. This is due to their preference for remote habitats and non-aggressive nature. They rarely strike unless stepped on, but they will rear up, hiss and yawn to show their fangs if threatened.
Aegean Wall Lizard
Many lizard species, including some geckos and chameleons, can rapidly change color to blend in with the background and evade predators. However, wall lizards, Podarcis erhardii, cannot do this, so they must choose their resting spot wisely to avoid being noticed by avian predators. A new study from the Universities of Cambridge and Exeter found that island populations of this diurnal lizard have evolved to camouflage themselves by choosing rocks that best match the color of their own backs. 레오파드게코
This ability may help P. erhardii flexibly heighten or decrease dorsal coloration depending on the immediate ecological context, similar to how risk-dependent anti-predatory behavior has been observed in other lizards (e.g., Marshall and Stevens 2014). In the present study, a visual model designed to simulate a bird’s eye view of the lizards showed that the colors of real female and male P. erhardii better matched their local island backgrounds than the lizards in a control model, which occupied different regions of color space (Fig. 1).
Although a relatively small lizard, this species has been observed feeding on a variety of nontraditional prey items, including conspecific eggs and body parts. The researchers found that lizards from walls were significantly larger than lizards from nonwall sites, and their head shape and hindlimb-to-forelimb ratios also differed. However, these differences did not drive corresponding bite force or prey preferences. In fact, the diets of lizards from both wall and nonwall sites were very similar, with both groups consuming predominantly coleopterans, orthopterans, and arachnids.
Bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) can change their skin color to match the surrounding environment. They can appear sandy yellow in a desert setting, brownish green in grassy habitats, and a greyish color in rocky areas. This camouflage helps them blend in and avoid being spotted by predators.
This is one of many camouflage strategies used by beardies to survive in the wild. They are also adept climbers, and can perch on tree stumps, rocks, fence posts, and other elevated surfaces to bask and keep an eye out for prey, rivals, and mates. They can hide and burrow to escape from predators, as well. These adaptations help them regulate their body temperature, and to access food sources in difficult to reach places.
The researchers found that beardie color change may serve multiple functions, including thermoregulation, signaling, and camouflage. They also found that the lizards partition their color change between body regions to accommodate the conflicting requirements of thermoregulation and signalling.
While they don’t vocalise, the scientists found that the lizards use posturing and head bobbing to communicate with their peers during interactions. They will also puff their bodies up to show aggression, or signal submission by waving a forearm. They can even change their skin texture to look spikier when threatened, in the hope that this will scare off any predators.
Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake
This is one of the world’s most venomous snake species, responsible for hundreds of human deaths each year. Yet, it is also one of the most amazingly camouflaged. See if you can spot this rattlesnake in these pictures from Georgia’s Coastal Ecology Lab.
A nocturnal creature, western diamondback rattlesnakes use the heat-sensing pits on their heads to locate prey and to help them blend in with their rocky desert habitats. They eat small mammals such as mice, woodrats, rabbits and squirrels as well as birds and lizards. These snakes can bury themselves in the ground or hide in crevices or under fallen rocks to wait for their prey.
Their bodies are a dusty gray-brown to pinkish color with darker blotches down their backs that start somewhat rectangular and become more diamond-shaped further down the body. Their tails have alternating black and ash-white bands, similar to the pattern of a raccoon’s tail. These snakes can grow up to seven feet in length and have a rattle on the end of their tails that they use to warn potential predators.
The venom of western diamondback rattlesnakes is hemotoxic, myotoxic and cytotoxic, affecting the blood, heart and muscles. The snakes eat rodents, insects and lizards and can be found in a variety of arid habitats, from flat coastal plains to steep rocky canyons and hillsides. This is one of the few snakes that can aggressively stand their ground and strike when threatened. They will often rattle their tails in warning if disturbed and, as with most venomous snakes, can bite humans.