Last week in the Articles 4 Kids we looked at mimicry (Mirror Mirror on the Wall) and how it defies evolution.  This week we’re going to look at some examples of animal camouflage.

Camouflage is described as an organism whose appearance or behavior allows it to blend in with its environment making it harder to see.  It is just like the Where’s Waldo books where Waldo is drawn to blend into a crowd, making it hard to find him.  Most evolution sources I found all say the same thing about the evolution of camouflage.  Many of them quoted or referred to the PBS special evolution that said:

When an insect happens to blend in with its environment, it’s called camouflage. Like mimicry, camouflage can be “protective,” to avoid the attention of predators, or “aggressive,” to allay suspicion while the predator attacks its prey. The praying mantis that has evolved a flat, triangular shape and coloring just like the leaves it sits on is extremely hard to detect.

In camouflage, the shape and outline of the animal merge with the background so it’s not recognizable.

Notice that it says that the praying mantis evolved the traits that give it the camouflage, but it doesn’t say how the praying mantis evolved these traits.  The evolution sites imply that the praying mantis first started out plain and simple without having all of the camouflage traits and then evolved them to match their surroundings.  If this is true, then how did the praying mantis know what traits it needed to evolve and how did it acquire the genetic code for those traits? 

Let’s take a look at several examples of camouflage and see if they can be explained by evolution.

Since the PBS special used the praying mantis, we’ll start at the same place.  It’s easy to understand how a typical green praying mantis can blend into the plants around it (bottom right), but how does one explain the orchid praying mantis (bottom left) and dead-leaf praying mantis (upper right)?  How did the dead-lea praying mantis evolve the genes that changed its thin appearance to that of a wide flat dead leaf?  Or how did the orchid praying mantis not only develop the same color as the orchid but evolve the front legs to look like orchid petals?

Another form of camouflage is the ability to change one’s color to blend into its environment.  The two examples pictured below are the chameleon (terrestrial) and the cuttlefish (aquatic). 

Like the praying mantis, it is easy to explain a green chameleon blending into the leaves of a tree or bush (upper right and lower let).  It will have a greater chance of surviving and passing its traits on to other generations.  But how does one explain the evolution of the ability to change its color and pattern to blend into the pebbled ground (upper left) or the dead leaves of a tree including the veins of the leaves (lower right)? 

A sand colored cuttlefish can blend into a sandy ocean bottom and thus have a better chance of surviving, but what about the cuttlefish hiding by a coral reef (upper right) or laying on a gravel bottom (lower left) or hiding in a group of coral (bottom right)?  Not only can a cuttlefish change its color and pattern to blend into its environments, but they also have the ability to rapidly flash different colors and patterns like a light show.  Their wild flashing displays have been associated with mating, warning off predators and general excitement.  In the case of mating displays, why would the cuttlefish evolve an elaborate display of color for the purpose of attracting a mate when no cuttlefish originally had this ability or know that it would work?  Not only would the cuttlefish have to evolve the color creating cells, but they would also have to evolve a system to allow or the rapid changing of each individual cell in a coordinated pattern. 

Evolution is built upon random chance processes, yet they want you to believe that camouflage traits are purposely acquired by some type of directed selection process.  Trying to define camouflage with evolution defies all logic as well as the very principles of evolution. 

Camouflage is best explained by biblical creation.  An infinitely wise Creator built these special features into the genetics of these animals when He first created them.  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev. 4:11)


Evolution of Camouflage, Evolution, PBS, 2001

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