Animal April Fools

Oh no! I broke my wing! I’m so injured and defenseless and tasty!

Look how broken my wing is! Are you looking? Ooh, it stings!(Photo by Glenn Loos-Austin)

Look how broken my wing is! Are you looking? Ooh, it stings!
(Photo by Glenn Loos-Austin)

Ooh better follow me as I flop brokenly over this way!(Photo by Ken Slade)

Ooh better follow me as I flop brokenly over this way!
(Photo by Ken Slade)

Ouch ouch! What a flailing broken mess of deliciousness I am being over here!(Photo by Jon Rutlen)

Ouch ouch! What a flailing broken mess of deliciousness I am being over here!
(Photo by Jon Rutlen)

APRIL FOOLS! I'm fine!(Photo by Don Linville)

APRIL FOOLS! I’m fine!
(Photo by Don Linville)

Killdeer (and several other species) feign broken wings when predators stray too close to their nests or chicks. The broken wing act lures the predator toward the parent, who looks like an easy dinner, and away from the vulnerable chicks.

Killdeer chicks.Photo by Nick Chill Photography

Killdeer chicks.
Photo by Nick Chill Photography

They’re not bad actors, either, as you can see in this video of a broken-wing-acting Killdeer.

I’m debris. Boring. A leaf or something. Nothing to see here. Maybe bird poop! Yeah, eww, bird poop.

Just some grass. La-de-dah. Just… photosynthesizing over here. Growing roots. You know.(Stick insect; photo by Bill & Mark Bell.)

Just some grass. La-de-dah. Just… photosynthesizing over here. Growing roots. You know.
(Stick insect; photo by Bill & Mark Bell.)

Totally a dead leaf.(Frog; photo by Paul Williams.)

Totally a dead leaf.
(Frog; photo by Paul Williams.)

Yeah me too.(Frog; photo by Sonja Pauen.)

Yeah me too.
(Frog; photo by Sonja Pauen.)

I'm kind of a scary dead leaf. You should be uninterested AND intimidated.(Ghost mantis; photo by Frupus.)

I’m kind of a scary dead leaf. You should be uninterested AND intimidated.
(Ghost mantis; photo by Frupus.)

Oh weird, a dead leaf near your sweet-smelling fruit. I dunno why. Gravity, probably.(Dead leaf butterfly; photo by TheGirlsNY.)

Oh weird, a dead leaf near your sweet-smelling fruit. I dunno why. Gravity, probably.
(Dead leaf butterfly; photo by TheGirlsNY.)

Pretty little white flowers! Yes we are. What- We're not creepy! Okay, maybe we're lichen then.(Flatid leaf-bug nymphs; photo by David d'O.)

Pretty little white flowers! Yes we are. What- We’re not creepy! Okay, maybe we’re lichen then.
(Flatid leaf-bug nymphs; photo by David d’O.)

More lichen. Don't worry about it.(Southern leaf-tailed gecko; photo by David d'O.)

More lichen. Don’t worry about it.
(Southern leaf-tailed gecko; photo by David d’O.)

Just hanging out, being dead and crunchy, like leaves do.(Giant leaf-tailed gecko; photo by David d'O.)

Just hanging out, being dead and crunchy, like leaves do. Or bark, I guess. Wait, what am I sitting on?
(Giant leaf-tailed gecko; photo by David d’O.)

Look at that grain. There's no way I'm not a twig.(Lined leaf-tailed gecko; photo by David d'O.)

Look at that grain. There’s no way I’m not a twig.
(Lined leaf-tailed gecko; photo by David d’O.)

Okay look, even if you don't think I'm bird poop, do you really want to EAT something that looks this much like bird poop? Yeah, I didn't think so!(Bird poop moth; photo by Eric Heupel.)

Okay look, even if you don’t think I’m bird poop, do you really want to eat something that looks this much like bird poop? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
(Bird poop moth; photo by Eric Heupel.)

I’m safe. No fangs or anything. Trust me.

Just a pretty yellow flower. All full of sweet nectar, mmm. Come closer.(Flower spider; photo by Jaymar Alvaran.)

Just a pretty yellow flower. All full of sweet nectar, mmm. Come closer.
(Flower spider; photo by Jaymar Alvaran.)

Hello, fellow ant. Oh, why am I carrying one of your dead sisters in my jaws? Well, she - sadly - died on her own, and, you know, wouldn't want to waste... Yeah, why don't you come closer to help me carry her...(Ant-mimic spider carrying its prey, an ant. Photo by Vipin Baliga.)

Hello, fellow ant. Oh, why am I carrying one of your dead sisters in my jaws? Well, she – sadly – died on her own, and, you know, wouldn’t want to waste… Yeah, why don’t you come closer to, uh, help me carry her…
(Ant-mimic spider carrying its prey, an ant. Photo by Vipin Baliga.)

I’m dead. Probably rotted and disgusting, not tasty at all.

So dead.(Western fence lizard; photo by Tim Proffitt-White.)

So dead.
(Western fence lizard, not dead; photo by Tim Proffitt-White.)

Ugh, look at my gross dead mouth. Now go away.(Opossum; photo by Tony Alter.)

Ugh, look at my gross dead mouth. Now go away.
(Opossum, not dead; photo by Tony Alter.)

Look at my death contortions.(Ring-necked snake; photo by randomtruth.)

Check out my death contortions. Those are impressively dead, right? I mean, it’s no big deal, I’ve just been working on them.
(Ring-necked snake, not dead; photo by randomtruth.)

Aaargh I'm so dead I'm throwing up this toad I ate! Dead things throw stuff up, right?(Hognose snake; photo by Benny Mazur.)

Aaargh I’m so dead I’m throwing up this toad I ate! Dead things throw stuff up, right?
(Hognose snake, not dead; photo by Benny Mazur.)

Dead dead dead. Hey man, can you stop looking at me? You're kind of ruining it. At least look like you're sad or something.(Meerkats; photo by Capricorn Cringe.)

Dead dead dead. Hey man, can you stop looking at me? You’re kind of ruining it. At least look like you’re sad or something.
(Meerkats, not dead; photo by Capricorn Cringe.)

I’m a scary thing! Boo!

I'm a hawk! I look like one and everything. No, my bill isn't too skinny, it's… pointed. Like, really sharp.(Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo; photo by Tom Tarrant.)

I’m a hawk! I look like one and everything. No, my bill isn’t too skinny, it’s… pointed. Like, really sharp.
(Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo; photo by Tom Tarrant.)

Big hungry sharp-talons owl! Woo-woo!(Butterflies; photo by Anna Hesser.)

Big hungry sharp-talons owl! Woo-woo!
(Owl butterflies; photo by Anna Hesser.)

This awesome octopus is a flounder, a sea snake, a lionfish, and an indeterminate scary black thing.

Happy April Fools Day!

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10 thoughts on “Animal April Fools

  1. Wonderful April Fools Day post! Camoflague is so fascinating, yet it gives me that goosebumpy feeling….like there are things out there Watching. Must be some primal fear of being prey! Gorgeous photos!

    • I wouldn’t mind much if any of the critters in this post were watching me. Sometimes I get that feeling walking around the hills here, though, where there are cougars, and THAT is a little concerning!

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