Optical illusions gone wild! Find the frog, then look for the lizard
Indian photographer Yuwaraj Gurjar shares two nature photos featuring carefully camouflaged creatures.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gurjar was in Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa, India, last month when he spotted a tiny Malabar gliding frog. "She was busy building and shaping her nest," Gurjar said. "After all the effort, she jumped on a higher branch and slept."
While the frog dozed, Gurjar went to work snapping images. You'll need a sharp eye (that's a hint) to locate the little sleeper in the photo below, but give it a try. We'll post its location at the end of the article.
The fascinating frog doesn't represent the first time Gurjar has photographed a camouflaged creature in its natural habitat. In October 2015, in Goa's Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, he happened upon a group of Draco flying lizards.
"Draco or flying lizards are mysterious in Southern Indian forests," Gurjar said. "When they perch on tree bark, it is impossible to locate them unless they make any movement. Camouflage is one of the major techniques they use to save themselves from predation."
Lucky for Gurjar, he already had his eye on a lizard group before one of them settled down and all but melted away into the matching bark of a tree.
"I was following the lizards which glided from one tree to this tree," Gurjar said. "After settling, (a lizard) was perfectly camouflaged on the bark."
Can you spot the lizard lounging in the photo Gurjar provided? You'll find the answer at the end of the story.
Gurjar loves photographing nature and wildlife, and has been doing so for 29 years. "I always want to share my photos and experiences with people," he said. You can see more of his work on his website, Facebook, Instagram and on his blog.
He finds the camouflaged critters especially enjoyable, and often uses them as a teaching tool. "Studying their natural patterns which make them camouflaged in nature is so much fun," he said. "(I like to) share (the photographs) with kids and students and make them realize how nature is great."
OK, given up on finding one or both of the concealed creatures? For the frog, your best bet is finding the large, almost-heart-shaped leaf in the center of the image that has a small hole on its left side, and light shining off of it on the right. From the center of where the light is hitting the leaf, move your eye slowly to the right. See a small yellow circle with a black vertical line splitting it? That's the frog's eye.
The lizard is a little easier to locate. It's vertically perched in the center of the photo, with a diamond-looking pattern on its back. If you need to orient yourself, find the two whitish blotches that are kind of stacked on each other. The lizard's just to the left and down a little bit from the lower of the two whitish blotches.
And the next time you hear your kid brag about her hide-and-seek prowess, be sure to tell her she's got nothin' on Mother Nature.
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