Animals In Disguise

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  1. (ABC News)

    Leaf Insects
    Going under the scientific code name of Phylliidae, leaf insects pretend to be leaves in every way imaginable -- just to fool predators. The insects rock back and forth when they walk to appear like a leaf blowing in the wind. Some even have fake bite marks on the edge of their bodies.

    Although the flatfish isn't poised to win a beauty pageant any time soon, its odd asymmetrical body helps it survive by camouflaging it against the ocean floor. This ensures that the fish is overlooked by hungry passerbys. Some species are able to change their pigmentation.

    You might not want to pick this fellow out of a crowd. The appropriately named Stonefish happens to be one of the most venomous underwater species. It carries toxins that can cause shock, paralysis and even death. For those who like to tempt fate, Stonefish are sometimes kept as aquarium pets and served as sushi.

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  2. Cuttlefish
    Considered chameleons of the sea, cuttlefish can quickly change their skin color to appear invisible to enemies. The fish's color-changing power is generated by pigmented, light-reflecting cells that synchronize to create desired patterns. If all else fails, the species can also squirt ink, like octopuses.

    Manta Rays
    Manta Rays are bottom feeders, so naturally it's easy for them to camouflage themselves on the ocean floor. Their biggest threats are sharks and orcas.

    Walking Sticks
    Some animals use camouflage to hide from predators. One species from India prefers just to be left alone. Indian walking sticks are all female and are able to reproduce without males.

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  3. Katydids
    This member of the long-horned grasshopper family might not like to be seen, but it doesn't mind being heard. Katydids often sing and chirp in the evenings to attract the opposite sex. Some think the chirp of the females sounds like "Katey did, katey didn't" -- but who can really say?

    Leafy Sea Dragon
    Although not as hard to spot as other mythical sea creatures, sightings of this particular sea dragon have become increasingly rare. The species has become endangered as a result of pollution and industrial runoff. The dragon isn't the only one that can seemingly become one with floating seaweed. A related species called the weedy sea dragon grows weed-like fins.

    Sculpins like to hide, and are better off left alone anyway. They have sharp spines and can inflict painful stings. Ouch!!

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  4. This is really interesting! I love the look on the stonefish's face. Thanks for posting!
  5. I think theres something so pretty about leafy sea dragons. I love marine life!
  6. Thanks for posting this. Very interesting to see.
  7. Hehe . . . I was looking at the Stonefish's picture and I just thought of something.

    See the algae? It's supposed to look like algae on a rock.

    Because that's a fish, the algae gives the appearance that the fish has hair.