Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the April 21, 2008 Newsletter written in the community of 28 de Junio, in the Central Valley 8 kms east of Pujiltic, Chiapas, MÉXICO
about 800 meters in elevation, ± LAT. 16° 18'N, LONG. -92° 28'

caterpillar camouflaged as bird feces

Above, what do you see?

Of course at first glance it looks like nothing more than bird poop on a citrus leaf, but take a closer look, especially at the white, bottom part. Also notice that the item is somewhat segmented. It's a caterpillar camouflaged so that it looks like bird feces!

Part of the genius of the camouflage is that even the white, pasty uric acid typically covering bird poop is represented. Uric acid paste on bird poop is the bird's highly concentrated pee. If human bodies had an ammonia-disposal system as efficient as birds' and reptiles', who convert their waste ammonia to uric acid instead of urea the way mammals do, we'd never have to pee! For more discussion on this matter see http://www.backyardnature.net/birdpee.htm.