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April Fools

April 1, 2016

For these 5 animals, deception is a way of life.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

1. Play Dead

We're onto this fella—a dead leaf mantis photographed in Ecuador. From the right angle, it's easy to see how you could mistake it for, yes, a dead leaf.

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Photo Credit: Tofoli/Rohe

2. Here Monkey, Monkey

A few years go, in the Amazonian forests of Brazil, researchers from WCS and UFAM (Federal University of Amazonas) observed a remarkable case of trickery by a wild cat, the margay (above). As a hunting strategy, the cat would imitate the calls of a pied tamarin to draw others of the species within striking distance.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

3. A Bird that Cries Hawk

Birds are known to use their share of trickery, too. The blue jay may mimic the call of a hawk, perhaps as a warning to other blue jays that one is in the vicinity.

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Photo Credit: Dennis DeMello © WCS

4. Beware the Dragon

To appear bigger and more threatening, the frilled dragon can puff itself up by opening its jaw and expanding the frill around its neck, as above.

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Photo Credit: ©Mileniusz Spanowicz/WCS

5. Eye Candy

Many species have eye-like colorations on their wings, including this Magrove Buckeye butterfly photographed in Bolivia. The markings likely serve to scare away some predators.

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