Definitions for countershadingˈkaʊn tərˌʃeɪ dɪŋ

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word countershading

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

coun•ter•shad•ingˈkaʊn tərˌʃeɪ dɪŋ(n.)

  1. (of an animal) coloration that is dark on parts of the body surface that are usu. exposed to the sun and light on parts usu. in shade.

    Category: Zoology

Origin of countershading:

1895–1900

Freebase

  1. Countershading

    Countershading, or Thayer's Law, is a form of camouflage. Countershading is the pattern of animal coloration in which an animal’s pigmentation is darker on the upper side and lighter on the underside of the body. When light falls on a uniformly coloured object such as a sphere from above, it makes the upper side appear lighter and the underside darker, grading from one to the other. This pattern is found in many species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish. This pattern of light and shade makes the object appear solid, and therefore acts as a visual cue which makes the object easier to detect. Countershading reduces the ease of detection of predators and prey by counterbalancing the effects of self-shadowing, again typically with grading from dark to light. In theory this could be useful for military camouflage, but in practice it has rarely been applied, despite the best efforts of zoologists such as Hugh Cott. A related mechanism, counter-illumination, adds the creation of light by bioluminescence or lamps to match the actual brightness of a background. Counter-illumination camouflage is common in marine organisms such as squid. It has been studied up to the prototype stage for military use in ships and aircraft, but it too has rarely or never been used in warfare.

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