Weird Nature 16 Animals Who Disguise Themselves as Other Animals  

Juliet Bennett Rylah
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There are plenty of animals who have no problem looking like leaves, bark, twigs, or coral when they want some peace from predators. However, there are also animals that camouflage to look like other animals. Some appear to look like predators, tricking those that would disturb them into staying away. Others are predators who lure their prey into coming closer by masquerading as a harmless friend or potential mate. And while some use visual appearance to deceive, others rely on sound and smell for their ruses. 

Hawk Moths


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This type of medium- to large-sized moth can fly rather quickly as an adult, but when they're only caterpillars, they make themselves look like snakes to avoid predators. In this case, their head becomes the tail. Other names for this moth family include sphinx moths and hornworms. 

Mimic Octopus


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The mimic octopus can change its color and texture in order to look like other objects or animals. When it isn't mimicking anything, it looks like a light brown octopus. Other times, it will prey on crabs by posing as an available crab looking to mate. To defend itself from predators, it will mimic poisonous sea creatures, such as sea creatures or lionfish. 

Scarlet Kingsnake


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The scarlet kingsnake is a nonvenomous snake found in the eastern United States. You might have spotted a few yourself, as they can occasionally live in suburbia and are sometimes found in pools. They look very similar to the coral snake, which is venomous. Both snakes are red, yellow and black. However, you can tell the two apart using this handy rhyme: "Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, venom at lack."

Viceroy Butterflies


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The viceroy butterfly looks very much like a monarch. Monarchs are unpalatable, meaning they simply don't taste good to predators. However, further research indicates that viceroys themselves may also be unpalatable, perhaps even more unpalatable than the monarch. Birds that have eaten an unpalatable butterfly will typically avoid eating other butterflies that look the same.