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Video: Animal Colors and Patterns

Colorful animals often want to warn or scare off others. And yet, not always! Bright colors can even be a camouflage! We are not kidding. Let us explain it to you in our knowledge video.

Video: Animal Colors and Patterns

(Video opens on YouTube)


Here we offer a transcript of the video:

There are unicolored animals, bicolored animals, tri ... brightly colored plumage! Patterned skin, animals with markings, colored wings ... wow, the world of animals is so colorful!

But WHY Are Animals so Colorful?

Animals are often brown or gray in order not to be seen by their enemies. For instance, there are geckos, frogs and butterflies that can hardly be spotted on the bark of a tree. Yet, bright colors can also serve as camouflage! The parrot fish is red and green and blue and orange! But it does not catch its predators’ eyes because its surroundings are colored similarly. This angler is bright yellow and red – just like the water plants in its habitat! Are there even more reasons, why animals are so colorful? Yes!

Warn and Scare Off

Forget about camouflaging colors, say hello to warning colors! The poison dart frog uses its color to tell you: I – am – poisonous! The black and yellow colored fire salamander also indicates that you should stay away if you want to avoid trouble. There are more examples: poisonous jellyfish or the blue-ringed octopus, whose rings and spots look like some contagious skin disease. Oops, what’s this? These animals in the video are actually butterflies: Owl butterflies that live in the rain forest. They should be an easy prey for lizards and birds, but they use a trick: On the bottom side of their wings there are large dark circles that look like the eyes of a dangerous bird of prey.

Additional info:
Animals also use their colors to delude and confuse predators. If the enemies hesitate for a short moment before attacking, this might be enough to make an escape.


Attract and Communicate

What kind of bird is that? And why does it have blue feet? The blue-footed boobyis a tropical sea bird and very proud of its feet. It wants everybody to have a look at them! While the bird dances around, it’s showing off its feet. The blue-footed booby wants to say: Look at me! I am the most beautiful, strongest and healthiest bird in this area. It hopes to impress a bird lady. Firefly squids live 600 to 1200 feet (200 to 400 meters) under water. When looking for a partner, their body glows in the most colorful ways.

Why is the Chameleon so Colorful?

The chameleon can change its color, but it does not do this to camouflage in its surroundings. It uses the colors to express its feelings and to show if it is ill, angry or happy.

The animalfunfacts Roundup!

Colors enable animals to disguise themselves and warn other animals or scare them away. Colors can also attract other animals. Some animals even use colors to communicate.

Find out more:
16 Most Colorful Animals in the World
12 Animals that are Masters of Disguise
10 Animals that Change Color - and How They Do It


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