Guess Who? Guess Where? Answers
A. polar bear
The polar bear lives in a snowy, icy environment. Its clear hair looks white because it reflects light. That makes polar bears practically invisible in their arctic home.
Lions lie in wait for prey on the African savanna. Their sandy-colored coats blend in with the tall brown grass and rocks that make up their habitat. When unsuspecting prey gets close enough, the lion emerges from its hiding place and pounces!
The northern seahorse wraps its prehensile (grasping) tail around pieces of coral to anchor itself. Its body is covered with armor-like plates, not scales like other fish. These adaptations make seahorses look like coral. The northern seahorse can also change color. That helps it blend in even more with its coral reef home. The Milwaukee County Zoo has a northern seahorse in the Great Barrier Reef aquarium in the Australia Building.
D. Humboldt penguin
Bonus points if you guessed correctly! Humboldt penguins live off the coasts of Chile and Peru in South America. Predators can come from above: birds like gulls and skuas. Or they can strike from below: creatures like killer whales and sea lions. So life can be dangerous for the penguins. But don’t worry; they have excellent camouflage!
Penguin camouflage is complicated. Their tuxedo-like coloring is known as “counter-shading.” That means that penguins are one color on top (black) and another color on bottom (white). When a penguin paddles along the water’s surface, its black back blends in with the dark water. Predators flying overhead have a hard time seeing it. At the same time, the penguin’s white belly looks like the sky to hungry creatures swimming below.
E. tawny frogmouth
The tawny frogmouth has feathers colored like tree bark. The bird can also sit perfectly still for a long time. When it’s perched in a tree, it looks just like a broken branch. It’s one of the most difficult animals to find in its exhibit at the Milwaukee County Zoo! Look for it in the Herb & Nada Mahler Family Aviary.
Photos by Richard Brodzeller