Animal Adaptations against Predators How animals have adapted to survive in their environments
Name: ______________________ Class: _______ Date: ______Survival Adaptations: Defense against Predators (Write the name of the Organism and explain their adaptation in the correct column
Animal Defense Against Predators Throughout millions of years of evolution, animals have evolved numerous ways of defending themselves against predators. Obviously, being able to flee a predator is the choice of many prey animals we can consider. However, there are some often overlooked but interesting methods of defense which involve deception and chemistry. These include using: • Toxic chemicals • Camouflage • Mimicry
Chemical Defense • Animals can be poisonous to their predators. • Interestingly, many organisms which are poisonous advertise this fact to predators by having bright body colors or markings, as if to say: “Notice me! I’m dangerous!” • What examples can you think of?
Chemical Defense Example #1 • The larvae of Monarch butterflies accumulate toxins from the plants they inhabit. Birds that eat the Monarchs vomit and learn to avoid them in the future. • Their bright coloration allows birds to remember and avoid them.
Chemical Defense Example #2 • The poison dart frog has poison glands scattered all over its body.
Chemical Defense Example #3 • The fire salamander makes a nerve poison, which it can squirt from glands on its back.
Chemical Defense Example #4 • A Skunk “advertises” that if predators go near, there will be a stinky and unpleasant consequence.
Camouflage • Animals that camouflage themselves pretend to be something they are not. Either their coloration, marking patterns, or entire body resembles something else in their environment. • Sometimes an animal’s colors can be a difference between life and death. • What examples can you think of?
Camouflage Example #1 What does this look like to you? This moth blends in with leaves in it’s environment
Camouflage Example #2 • What do you see? • This leaf bug’s shape and color are a great disguise from predators.
Camouflage Example #3 • This rabbit’s fur will actually change color depending on the season. • Why would it do this?
Camouflage Example #4 • Here an aptly named walking stick pretends to be a twig, in an attempt to avoid being seen by a bird or other predator.
Camouflage Example #5 • This ocean ray blends in perfectly with the sand on the ocean floor.
Camouflage Example #6 • This dandelion spider has adapted to perfectly match the flower it is names for
Camouflage Example #7 • A cryptic frog - This species has developed a coloring, texture and form that are similar to the leaves found in its environment.
Camouflage Example #8 • Like the rabbit earlier the artic foxes’ fur will change color with the season. Why is this important?
Camouflage Example #9 • This Quail is very hard to see. It has adapted it’s color to blend in with the surrounding foliage.
Camouflage Example #10 • Tartan Hawkfish swimming in Gorgorian Fans
Camouflage Example #11 • Can you find the frog? • Look in the top right corner.
Camouflage Example #12 • Why do you think this great white shark has 2 different colors?
Camouflage by Deception Example #13 • In this picture, a four-eyed butterfly fish uses deceptive markings. The large spot near the tail resembles an eye. When predators attack the wrong end, the butterfly fish can swim away in the other direction!
Camouflage by Deception Example #14 • Some predators also depend on camouflage, but this time it is in order to avoid being seen by their prey. • Here, a frogfish resembles a sponge. Small fish swimming nearby will be engulfed in the frogfish’s enormous mouth!
Mimicry • In mimicry, an organism (the mimic) closely resembles another organism (the model) in order to deceive a third, (the operator). The model and the mimic are not always closely related, but both live in the same area. • Why do they need to live in the same area?
Mimicry Example #1 An example is the scarlet king snake, a non-poisonous mimic of the extremely venomous coral snake. Above: Scarlet king snake Right: Coral snake
Mimicry Example #2 • The two invertebrates on the left are different species of sea slugs, while the one on the right is a marine flatworm. All three secrete harmful substances and are inedible.
Mimicry Example #3 • Another example is the locust borer. • This insect not only looks like a bee or wasp, it sounds like one, too!
Mimicry Example #4 Another example of mimicry involves the non-toxic viceroy butterfly has developed colors and wing patterns that are very similar to those of the monarch butterfly, which is toxic and very nasty to eat. Most birds won’t take a chance by taste-testing it!
Mimicry Example #5 The western hog-nosed snake(commonly known as a blow snake) has mimicked a rattlesnake very well. What would you mimic yourself as?
Review and Summary • Three types of defenses that animals can use against predators include: • Chemical Defense • Camouflage • Mimicry • Animals constantly evolve new and improved characteristics to capture prey or evade predators; the ongoing adaptations have produced some of the wonderful organisms you have just seen! • What kind of adaptation would you like to have?