Numbat camouflage is perfect for its habitat

Numbat camouflage is amazing

If ever you had doubts about the way evolution works to create a camouflaged coat to enhance the prospects of survival of the world’s wild species, this photo should dispel those doubts.

Numbat camouflage is amazing

Numbat camouflage is amazing. I have taken the liberty of screenshotting a Bing start screen because the photo so perfectly shows of the camouflaged coat. The photo is by Martin Willis/Minden Pictures.

Some people still don’t believe in evolution. But it’s entirely factual because the evidence is so strong. And I just love this photograph because the numbat’s coat matches so closely its habitat. It indicates to me that this animal lives in a certain area or a certain type of habitat and has done for eons. Only in this way could there be such a beautiful match between its appearance and the landscape in which it lives.

Quick research indicates that this animal lives of termites and I’m going to guess that the termites live in fallen trees like the one you see in the photograph. These are dead grey trees with red rotten interiors where termites live. And the fallen trees have striations where they’ve cracked open. The twigs and branches in the background also create this mosaic of lines which match the coat.

The colour of the numbat varies considerably between soft grey to reddish-brown. Often there is an area of brick red on the upper back. There is always a conspicuous black stripe running from the tip of the muzzle through the eyes to the base of each round-tipped ear. The colours simply match the background perfectly.

They search for termites during the day and night. They say this because they are so specialised, they have to forage 24/7. It has a long narrow sticky tongue to grab the termites. In this dry habitat they obtain a lot of their water needs from their diet. Historically they were distributed across large parts of the South of the Australian continent but are now confined to tiny areas in the far south-west. They are found in areas of eucalypt forest. There are estimated to be fewer than 1000 left in the wild and therefore they must be highly endangered.

The release of the European red fox in the 19th century is said to have wiped out the entire numbat population in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory and almost all numbats in Western Australia. By 1970 the population had declined dramatically to under 1000 individuals.

Once again, sadly, their near extinction in the wild is due to humankind’s acute carelessness and stupidity leading to a late-in-the-day rearguard action to try and save them from extinction.

Humankind has difficulty facing up to their misdemeanours in terms of conservation. In Australia they love to blame the feral cat for all manner of conservation problem because the cat kills small mammals and these are native species. But if you go back to the root problem it is always human.

It is always a human-made problem. For example, settlers introduced cats to the continent and those cats escaped and became feral and then they were left alone for a hundred years until the population had grown to the point where their predation had a significant impact upon wildlife numbers. And if it’s not introducing invasive species to the continent, it is destroying habitat because of increased settlements due to human population numbers growing.

Humankind tends to cover up their conservation mistakes and gross errors by blaming a scapegoat namely the feral cat. It’s pathetic to be honest because the scapegoat that they have chosen is their fault as well. The cat is innocent and is simply surviving where humans put them.


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