Category Archives: mimicry

Spot the tawny frogmouths

Yes, there are two of them here. From Frans de Waal’s public Facebook photos, via reader Steve. There are two birds here: a remarkable example of camouflage: This species (Podargus strigoides), a denizen of Australia and Tasmania, is famous for camouflaging itself and closing its eyes. As Wikipedia notes: One of the best examples of […]

Spot the platypus!

JAC: Matthew left me this as his final “gift” before his Lake District “hols.” It’s a gift in the same sense that a dead rodent left by your cat on the doorstep is a “gift.”  But based on this post, I’ve removed “seeing a platypus” from my bucket list. by Matthew Cobb No nightjars, no […]

Here’s the nightjar!

JAC: Many readers spotted the nightjar in yesterday’s post. Either it was too obvious, or you’re getting better. Here’s Matthew’s answer: by Matthew Cobb Jolyon Troscianko of the University of Exeter, whose great web-site was the source of the photo of the fiery-necked nightjar, also helpfully provides this highlighted version of the photo:   Here’s […]

Spot the nightjars!

JAC:  Matthew has gone off to the Lake District for a week’s “hols,” but he left me with a post so I wouldn’t go dry. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s a “Spot the nightjar” post.  Srsly!  I’ll give the answer either tomorrow or this evening.   by Matthew Cobb OK, […]

Here are the crabs. . . I think

by Matthew Cobb Here are four crabs from the spot-the-crabs-post (circled). As I said, I wasn’t sure where they all were. I’m not entirely confident of the one in the middle on the left… And there are probably more! Here’s a very confident set of spottings from reader Heather Hastie on the comments of the original post, who […]

Spot the crabs

[JAC: Sorry, folks; I can't stop the man. It's a form of madness.] by Matthew Cobb This picture appeared on Tw*tter, taken by Matt Nicholson, aka @SharkyNichol, whose bio says “Marine biologist, ecologist, and conservationist. From #Miami, now an MSc student at Uni of Exeter”.  His tw**t read: “Come try and find the camouflaging crabs #scienceinthesquare […]

Here’s the killdeer!

by Matthew Cobb If the comments are anything to go by, most of you found the killdeer. Here’s the evidence, including a nice picture, taken by Peter Green from another angle, which shows you quite how well camouflaged she was.       Peter Green’s full series of photos of the killdeer, including useful biological […]

Moth mimics bird poop

Okay, is everyone ready for footie? Yes, I thought so. But we still have nearly an hour, so let’s have a bit of biology. We all love mimicry, and if you’re a regular here you’ve seen all kinds of it, including many animals (insects, frogs, spiders, and so on) that look like bird droppings. Those droppings […]

Spot the nightjars!

[JAC: Here we go again! I can't stop the man. . . But don't spoil it in the comments just yet; you can say if you've found it, but all will be revealed in time ] by Matthew Cobb Two for the price of one, both posted by @ProjectNightjar on Tw*tter. The first is pretty […]

Spot the wood frog

by Greg Mayer Well, it’s not that hard to spot, but you can see how the wood frog (Rana sylvatica) is aptly named. My Minnesota correspondent found this fellow along Caribou Trail (a road) and Jonvick Creek near Lutsen, Cook County, Minnesota, about a half mile from the north shore of Lake Superior, on 10 […]


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