Changing colour for winter

What animals change colour for winter?

Many animals, especially mammals, hibernate (sleep) in winter. Some animals lie dormant (similar to sleep, but lie still). Other animals, such as butterflies and moths and other insects, turn into cocoons and chrysalises in winter, waiting to emerge as adults in spring. Other animals grow their winter fur to keep them warm.

But some animals change colour to camouflage into their autumn and winter environment – brown among dry leaves and leaf litter, white in snowfields, and grey in clouded habitats.

Shield Bug

For example, the Shield Bug, or Stink Bug, is green in summer to camouflage among green plants – but only in their young nymph form. In autum and winter, they become adults and change colour to brown, to camouflage themselves among leaves.

Chameleons change colour to suit their surroundings. Hares, foxes, martens, wolves, deer, owls, lizards, and many other animals that live in cold and snowy climates, put their winter white coat on. 

Shield Bug
Shield Bug
Chameleon
Chameleon
Turkmenian Fox

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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