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mimicry

Mimicry
Image: BBC/Ingo Arndt

Mimicry

The natural world is filled with disguise and deception. Some animals, insects, and plants mimic the look, smell, sound, or behavior of another species. By tricking predators, prey, or pollinators, these con artists increase their odds of survival.

Start exploring nature’s most amazing masquerades.

BBC
Butterfly Uses “Supergene” to Mimic Other Toxic Species

Butterfly Uses “Supergene” to Mimic Other Toxic Species

Scientists have never understood how the numata longwing butterfly changes its wing pattern to mimic a bad-tasting species — until now. Learn about the amazing “supergene.” More...

Video
Scientific American
Chemical Warfare of Stealthy Silverfish

Chemical Warfare of Stealthy Silverfish

Silverfish have found a way to outsmart ants in order to live in their nests and steal their food. Discover their clever disguise for fooling their hard-working hosts. More...

Article
Science Daily
Find the Mimic

Find the Mimic

Spotting the disguised creatures in these photos might be tougher than you think. Give it a try — and learn about their wide-ranging forms of deception. More...

Interactive
National Geographic
Shape-Shifting Cuttlefish Can Mimic Pictures

Shape-Shifting Cuttlefish Can Mimic Pictures

Cuttlefish change their color, pattern, and posture to look like algae and whatever is close by. They can mimic pictures too! Take a look. More...

Images
National Geographic
The Private Life of Plants: Wasp Flowers

The Private Life of Plants: Wasp Flowers

Even flowers can be tricksters. See how these orchids, which look remarkably like female wasps, con male wasps into spreading pollen. More...

Video
BBC
Author Interview: Butterflies

Author Interview: Butterflies

Philip Howse is an entomologist who discovered a new kind of mimicry in moths and butterflies. Find out what sparked his interest in bugs and his favorite butterfly species. More...

Profile
Papadakis
M&M Survival Challenge

M&M Survival Challenge

If you were a predator, how easily could you find camouflaged prey? Try this easy, low-cost experiment to see if mimicry increases an animal’s survival. More...

Activity
Science Buddies
Masters of Disguise

Masters of Disguise

Is that a head or a tail? Check out how these animals and insects have evolved clever ways to avoid danger and increase their chances of survival. More...

Images
The Guardian
Mimicry Quiz

Mimicry Quiz

How much do you know about nature’s cunning strategies for deception? Go ahead and test your mimicry know-how. More...

Interactive
National Geographic
Ms. Adventure: King Snake Mimicry

Ms. Adventure: King Snake Mimicry

Trying to fool predators, the king snake mimics the bright colors of the venomous coral snake. See for yourself and learn a fun rhyme to help you remember which one’s which. More...

Video
Animal Planet

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