If you've ever seen a picture of a baby deer hiding in plain sight in the middle of a patch of grass, you've probably wondered what the heck Mama deer was thinking. It doesn't look like great camouflage, that's for sure.
But it's a lot better than you think.
A lot of antelope and deer are an orangey/ reddish tan color, which, to us, seems like the opposite of blending in. But the thing to remember is that we have color vision. Most predatory animals don't. They see in shades of grey.
Take this first picture as an example. How many antelope do you count here?
(No cheating and zooming in! Pretend you're a predator)
Ta-da! In grayscale, that orangey/ reddish tan and the green of the grass are ... THE SAME COLOR!!
Mind blown, right??
Okay, I know this is probably not that exciting unless you're a biology geek like me. But I find it fascinating.
Now scroll down...
A bit more....
And just a tad bit longer....
Okay. Here's the color version of the same photo. Did you count them all?
*waits patiently for you to be excited*
Okay. So there you have it. Next time you see a baby deer in the middle of your lawn, don't worry. Mama deer left it exactly in the right place.
(PS-- just because Mama's not around doesn't mean Baby needs help. Many antelope and deer do what's called tucking-- the babies instinctively find a place to hide while Mama is off foraging for food, and know to stay very, very still. It's actually a misdirection on Mama's part, because any predators who find Mama won't know where to look for Baby, who is safe blending in with some grass somewhere).