Animals That Look Like Plants
Monday, November 20th, 2023
Whole range of insects use plant disguises to fool prey or hide from predators. These include orchid mantis (that camouflage against flowers to lure prey) and walking sticks (that utilise appearance and movement to resemble branches).
Unique-looking flower hat jelly, the stinging-tentacled coral, and long-bodied sea cucumber are just a few examples of plants resembling ocean dwellers.
Animals that disguise as plants can be found on land also, such as the star-nosed mole and the satanic leaf-tailed gecko.
With a planet replete with diverse animals, it’s no wonder that they come in all shapes and sizes. Some animals impersonate poisonous species to fool predators while some other survive solely relying upon threatening appearance. Even some predators have developed appearances to entice prey to their eventual doom. These 5 startling animals look just like plants. Reasons for their imitating plants can shock you.
Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko
The 5th place on our list is occupied by possibly the most threatening in appearance at least when taken out of the environs the camouflage is designed for. The satanic leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) is completely committed to its plant get-up. This reptile not only possesses a tail akin to a leaf, but it also has horned eyebrow ridges that look very much like branches and ridges down its body akin to leaf veins. This specific species also steps its game up when likened to other leaf-tailed geckos across the world; their coloring in the orange, red, and brown range makes them appear very much like a dead leaf, so even herbivores never regard them as a possible meal.
This gecko’s purpose for plant mimicry is primarily self-defense, and disguise isn’t the only defense mechanism the satanic leaf-tailed gecko relies on. When threatened, they will sometimes let out an incredible scream given their small size in an endeavour to frighten off predators. Found only in the Madagascar rainforests, this is yet another unique species native to that island nation.
Found everywhere except Antarctica, walking sticks of the order Phasmida account for more than 3,000 different species of insect. These bugs survive by attempting to hide from their predators in plain sight. Walking sticks don’t just look akin to a stick, some species in fact sway back and forth to impersonate a branch in the breeze!
The orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) is yet another fiddly predator on our list that empoys beautiful camouflage to capture its meals. Native to rainforests of Southeast Asia, this mantis sits on branches and flowers to lure unsuspecting insects into their grasp. Not only does the colouring of this species impersonate the flowers they are named after, but their legs are in fact formed into the shape of orchid petals.
Star-nosed moles (Condylura cristata) are the solitary species of mole that live in swamps and marshes, and they are a true treasure trove of fascinating abilities. When seen head-on, the star-shaped nose that is the inspiration for their name gives off the look of a strange flower. This mole’s nose consists of of 22 tendrils called rays, and this is far more than just an olfactory organ. Star-nosed moles have awful eyesight and navigate their underground world chiefly by touch. They touch their nose against the ground more than 10 times per second and receive in depth information about their environment. This lets them to find the insects they feed on, and they eat them within an amazing time of 0.25 seconds which is the quickest in the world.
Flower Hat Jelly
The flower hat jelly (Olindias formosus) is an ocean-dwelling invertebrate with striking plant characteristics. Unlike any of the other animals on this list, the flower hat jelly appears less like a plant directly and more like a fancy hat enclosed in plants. This jellyfish is also very unique among other jellies in that it devotes a fair amount of time just sitting on the ocean floor.