April 1, 2016
Fooled in the Forest
- as seen by -Avishai Shuter
Imagine you’re taking a stroll through the rainforest on the island of Madagascar. The air is cool and humid, insects are buzzing, and birds are singing in the trees that surround you. You walk right past a brownish tree trunk, bark dotted with moss, dismissing it as unremarkable. But you’ve been fooled – some tree bark in Madagascar isn’t bark at all.
Leaf-tailed geckos are masters of disguise, and can fool even experienced experts looking for them. Their rough, mottled skin creates the illusion of tree bark and moss. These lizards even have excess skin around their heads and sides that blend the outline of their bodies into bark in order to trick predators. Leaf-tailed geckos are nocturnal, and spend most of the day hidden this way on tree trunks.