Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Camouflaged gecko poses as a tree branch

This is one animal you wouldn't want to play hide and seek with... the amazingly camouflaged gecko posing as a branch.
Stick to it and you might be able to see him, but this Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko is still hard to make out.
It's incredibly suited to its surroundings, seamlessly blending its mossy bark-like colouration into the jungle trees and branches
Despite being barely visible to the human eye this master of disguise was spotted by wildlife photography couple Gregory and Mary Beth Dimijian.
The Texan pair caught the camouflaged critter on camera as they explored the Parc National de la Montagne d'Ambre, in Madagascar.
Gregory said they were extremely lucky to spot the gecko as they trekked through the dense jungle.
He said: 'It was only when he moved his head that we saw him, it was like watching a tree come alive.
'A Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko is almost invisible usually while resting on lichen-covered saplings and branches.
'They are perfectly adapted to their habitat in the eastern forests of Madagascar and very difficult for predators to spot.
'As this one 'woke up' it moved its head, revealing the amazing moss-like fringe along the sides of its body which blurs the line between itself and its background.
'It is one of the most dramatic examples of camouflage that we have ever photographed.'
During the daylight hours Henkel's leaf-tailed geckos use their adaptations to help blend into its surroundings to avoid predators.
At night the gecko's bizarre markings allow it to hunt for prey by surprise.
Adults vary in size anywhere from 2.5 - 6 inches in length.

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