Posted by Michaela LeMay | 01.16.2024 | Sea Turtle Camp News

Countershading to Stay Safe!

Camouflage is a well-known term by many people. There is a specific kind of camouflage that many animals in the ocean use called countershading. This concept is when an animal is dark on top and light on the bottom. This type of coloring is especially important for many animals in the ocean including sharks, stingrays, green sea turtle hatchlings, some species of fish, and more!

When an animal has countershading, it increases its ability to blend anywhere in the ocean. With a dark dorsal side, anything looking down on the animal may just see the shadows of the ocean. It easily blends in and is harder to see because of this coloring. With a lighter ventral side, anything looking up at the animal may see the crests of the waves and the sunlight peeking through. The lighter coloring blends in with the lighter coloring from above.

For many creatures, this allows them to blend in and stay safe from predators. However, animals with countershading remain unseen while they hunt their prey, providing a blanket of a different kind of protection! Sharks in particular use this coloring to their advantage. In either case, camouflage in the ocean can mean the difference between life and death for some critters! Countless animals utilize this coloring and their environments to remain unseen!