Over the course of eighteen weeks, our Ocean Explorers club dives into the world of marine biology and explores different animals and habitats all around our oceans. Each week we change topic – one week we might be talking about life on the coral reef and the next might be a deep dive into sharks but all sessions are filled with inspiring images, videos, and facts. Every class is all-encompassing, so you can dip in and out for a week at a time or stay with us for the full cycle and become a fully-fledged Ocean Explorer! Let’s dive in and check out our topics. This time – camouflage.

Camouflage

Camouflage is a word often associated with clothing or military uniforms, but camouflage is also integral in the animal kingdom. So, what exactly is camouflage?

Camouflage is the act of hiding, using a variety of tactics from behaviour to colouring. Animals use camouflage for two main reasons: to avoid being eaten by predators, and to sneak up on prey. There are many ways in which animals can do this and throughout the world’s oceans there are some excellent examples of camouflage. Let’s look at a few!

Bannerfish

Some animals will use the art of distraction and confusion to remain safe from predators. In the same way that zebras use their stripes to evade lions on the African savannah, animals like bannerfish will school together and hide in plain sight. The combination of their stripes and their behaviour makes it much more difficult for any potential predators to target an individual prey from the group.

Angel Shark

Just like a leopard, the angel shark is covered in a spotted pattern ideally suited to hiding on the sandy seabed. The angel shark’s flat shape and habit of lying still makes it tricky to spot, particularly when it’s also buried itself! This gives the shark the benefit of surprise, when ambushing prey from below.

Mimic Octopus

The mimic octopus is one of the ocean’s best-known impersonators! Typically, they are covered in black and white stripes, but they can change their colouration to mimic other creatures. Often choosing to pretend to be venomous or poisonous creatures, the mimic octopus can contort its body while changing colour to become a lookalike.

Hairy Frogfish

The hairy frogfish is often one animal that divers love to try and spot – their excellent camouflage makes this quite a challenge! Their colours vary and their bodies are often covered in what looks like hair, as they disguise themselves as colonies of soft coral on the reefs where they live!

‘Underwater Masters of Camouflage’ is just one of the 18 topics we have in our Ocean Explorers course cycle. Here you’ll be introduced to some of the best examples of camouflage in the ocean, and you’ll get to decide who you think deserves to be crowned the “Master of Camouflage”.


Ready to start your ocean exploring journey? To sign up and become an Ocean Explorer today click here. While you wait for your first class, why not follow us on Facebook, where we regularly share fun facts, craft ideas and cute videos. You might also like to sign up to our monthly WiseKids newsletter for a monthly dose of marvellous marine-themed content straight to your inbox!

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