Out in the wild, a good coat of fur can get you a long way. Being able to hide within your environment can mean the difference between successfully sneaking up on your prey or going hungry for the night—and it’s often a matter of life or death.
Of course, some animals are the masters of camouflage. The chameleon, for instance, can change its color, while leopards and cheetahs can virtually disappear in tall grass on the plains. Other animals may not boast the same camouflage prowess, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have just enough skill to slip into the background of their environment unnoticed.
Below are some of nature’s best hiders and others who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Either way, can you find the animal hidden in each picture?
1. Giraffe: While a giraffe may not be known for his hiding abilities, the one in this picture is certainly getting a little help from his environment. If it was his long neck that gave him away, remember: giraffes have the same amount of bones in their necks as humans!
2. Wolf: Wolves can be found in just about any environment from timberlands to deserts, and like other animals in this list, this wolf benefitted a great deal from his surroundings. Can you spot him? If not, you might be the prey!
3. Cat: This is another instance of an animal being in the right place at the right time. Somewhere in these wood stacks is a feline who’s not going to be spotted by the neighborhood dog anytime soon. Look closely…
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4. Blue-crowned parakeet: Native to South America, these birds stand approximately 14 inches tall. Interest in keeping them as house pets has grown in recent years, and owners are particularly fond of their intelligence. Can you find the one hiding in the leaves?
5. Leopard: Believe it or not, there is a leopard somewhere in this picture. Can you spot him? Found typically in sub-Saharan Africa, the marks on a leopard’s fur—known as rosettes—are smaller and more densely packed than its jaguar relatives. His coat helps him hunt.
6. Impala: No, not of the Chevy variety. You can find an impala typically in the woodlands or between plains and savannas. Their lyre-shaped horns are a unique feature on males. Can you spot the impala in this picture?
7. Cheetah: Famed for its spots and 70-miles-per-hour speed, the cheetah can be nearly impossible to locate in its homeland of east Africa. As hunting is its major day-to-day activity, fantastic hiding abilities are crucial. Can you spot the cheetah in this image?
8. Coyote: You can find coyotes all over North America, Mexico, and Central America, but can you find the one in this photograph? A coyote’s tracks are longer and not as round as a dog’s, and it eats primarily the meat of smaller animals.
9. Blue Dacnis: You’re most likely to find this bird in Central America and the northern parts of South America. Can you find it here? The males are a turquoise color with black around their eyes. Females, however, are green with turquoise heads. (Hint: It’s a female in this photograph).
10. Spotted deer: Commonly found in India, male spotted deer have antlers while females do not. In 2012, someone discovered one of these deer on Hawaii. How had it ended up on an island so far away from its natural home? A helicopter pilot had actually transported four of them to Maui, which has since been made a crime.
Sometimes it can take our eyes a moment to interpret our environments, and that could be all the time an animal needs to strike or flee. Could you spot the animals in these pictures fast enough to survive in the wild? Or would you end up a cheetah’s prey?
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