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Crypsis facts for kids

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A Draco lizard showing camouflage, background matching, reduction of shadow, and hiding.
Bandipur National Park

Crypsis is a word in ecology which means "hiding". It refers to the ways animals avoid being seen, or otherwise detected. It also includes the situation when an animal is noticed, but is not recognised for what it is. It may be either a defence against predators, or a device for predators to get near prey.

Methods include camouflage, nocturnality (night-time activity), subterranean lifestyle, transparency, and mimicry. The word can also be used about eggs, and about pheromone production. Crypsis can in principle involve visual, olfactory or auditory camouflage.

  • Hiding is the simplest case of crypsis. The animal moves to a place where it cannot be seen.
  • Camouflage is the case where an animal can be seen by (for example) a predator, but not recognised.
  • Mimicry is the case when an animal can be seen, but seems like another animal or plant. Warning colouration is an example.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Cripsis para niños

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