Eight Weird Copycats of the Animal World
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Eight Weird Copycats of the Animal World

Weird looking copycats of the animal world.

Animals either camouflage or mimic other animals or inanimate objects in order to increase their chance to survive in an otherwise hostile environment. Organisms successfully adapt by having colors or features that approximate the appearance of a poisonous creature, a predator or non-living materials in the surrounding environment. Bright-colored species might mean that the animal is toxic and would deter predators from preying on it. Some non-poisonous animals mimic poisonous ones. Others just blend with their surroundings, a twig, a leaf, or a stone so that they will not be detected.

Hereunder are some of those animals which have developed adaptations that helped them escape their natural predators. Although these adaptations are not always successful, their adaptations at the least ensured a viable number in its population to survive.

All of the animals featured below are found in the tropical forests of Palawan, an island located in southwestern Philippines. Palawan is also known as the Philippines' last frontier because it still harbors a diverse array of unique animals, many of which are endemic or native only to places where they are found. In addition, this island province attracts a lot of migrants and tourists because of its rich natural resources. This is where one of the new Seven Wonders of the World is located -- the underground river.

Cobra Frog

Still an unnamed species, at first impression, this rare frog can be mistaken as a cobra embedded in soil or litter. Upon closer inspection, however, the upper limb could be seen at the upper, lateral side. And of course, it doesn't bite. The featured frog was found in a bangkal (Nauclea orientalis)-dominated forest where cobras are known to occur.

Horned Frog

The Palawan horned frog (Megophrys ligayae) is difficult to detect among leaf litter. It closely resembles leaves in its riparian habitat and lies virtually motionless. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed this animal as one of the endangered species of the world. 

Log Insect

This unnamed insect carries its log-like house whereever it goes. It walks across dead leaves usually unnoticed because its house just looks like broken parts of a twig or stick.

Walking Stick

This walking stick (bluish-gray one) mimics the stick it holds on. The real stick happened to be white so the insect can be easily discerned.

Praying Mantis


A quick glance would not reveal the praying mantis waiting for its prey among the flowers. They also closely resemble the twigs of trees and bushes.

Owl-Winged Butterfl

Looking at this butterfly from the top gives the impression of an owl's face. It could have developed this adaptation to prevent bird predators from swooping down on them.



Agamids lie motionless among the leaves and branches of plants closely resembling their color. Unwittingly approaching their refuge would scare them away. Just like any lizard, this animal would run like crazy in a sudden burst of speed for a few meters then stop. This behavior helps them evade detection. Some studies on reptiles suggest, however, that the sudden stop is due to the build up of lactic acid that causes tiredness in the animal's muscles. They need to rest to remove it.


Almost undetectable, this weird-looking moth closely adheres to a branch or twig. Its small size (ca. 1 cm) helps it hide itself from prying eyes.

The adaptations made by these weird-looking animals helped them survive and reproduce their own kind for many years. Without these designs, the population of these weird copycats would have long been gone. But the rapid influx of people in the forests of Palawan might be the greatest threat to the continued existence of these animals.

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Comments (1)
Ranked #20 in Biology

These are some cool critters. I am in Canada, a few years ago we kept Walking Insects as pets, they are really neat.