Is it a twig or an insect? A harmless moth or a scary owl? Animals have amazing tricks up their sleeves to protect themselves, take advantage of looking like another creature or looking like their environment.
There are many types of animal mimicry. One example is an animal that pretends to be a totally different animal, usually much larger and stronger one, to scare off predators. The pattern on the wings of an Owl Moth (photo above) resemble the eyes and face of an owl.
Camouflage, where an animal resembles it's surrounding to hide from predators, is a much-studied type of mimicry. The Dead Leaf Katydid is a beautiful example. It looks just like the dead leaves it lives on. Other animals look like rocks, thorns, twigs, flowers and even bird droppings.
The King Snake, which is non-poisonous, has a scale pattern like that of the Coral Snake, a type of venomous snake. It tricks predators into thinking they have encountered its very dangerous relative.
Animal mimicry is found through the animal and even the plant world. One of the most amazing examples is the octopus, which can change not only its color but also its skin texture within seconds to hide in a variety of underwater environments.
Additionally, the mimicking species may smell, sound or act like the creature or object it is copying.