Bugs that look like twigs? Mantises that look like dead leaves? Moths with snake heads for wings? Mother Nature’s awe-inspiring ingenuity so often points to the fact that almost anything is possible!

When it comes to some of the most remarkable ways creatures have found to survive, the tactics of camouflage and mimicry that the insect and arachnid worlds use put the rest of the animal kingdom to shame.

Image: leaf grasshopper insect mimicry

Source: Pixabay

There are species of spiders, flys, bees, moths, and beetles that have evolved ways of mimicking other parts of the natural world; all in the name of survival. But how is it that a moth can even come to look like a piece of bird poop? Or a spider like an ant?

Unlike, say, the octopus, who has evolved ways to change their looks to blend with the environment, these arachnids and insects aren’t choosing to look like other things; it’s been through the slow process of evolution, generation by generation, that these species evolved to look the way they do.

To get one of the best explanations we’ve ever heard on how this all happens, we turn to this video from NPR’s YouTube science channel, Skunk Bear!

We’ve paired this video with thought-provoking discussion questions perfect for the classroom in this touchstone on our education platform, EWCed!

These imposters of the animal kingdom are some of the most astounding examples of how evolution has enabled creatures to inhabit some of the most unique places on the planet!

One of my personal favorite amazing insects practicing mimicry has to be the orchid mantis.

These remarkable little friends exhibit a form of mimicry called aggressive mimicry, and thankfully, we wrote an article all about them. (This article also talks about a few other forms of camoflauge and mimicry used by the natural world. So, if you’re interested in diving deeper into the subject, this one’s for you.)

5 minutes

The Orchid That’s Actually an Insect

The Orchid Mantis may look like a gorgeous flower, but behind that beauty is a deadly assassin. Check out how these remarkable creatures use their camouflage to its most deadly--and beautiful--best.

Read More

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


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  1. “Nature’s Masters Of Disguise | Maddie About Science.” YouTube. Skunk Bear, 02 Apr. 2018. Web. 04 June 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT0nlpZ41IA>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV