One would think that since we have green insects, reptiles, amphibians, and even birds, why aren’t there green animals? For example, cats have green eyes but never green fur.
Dogs generally have brown eyes, although some have eyes of blue, and green fur has never been found on a four-legged mammal.
Not naturally, anyway, so there must be a reason for that because a green cat would be cool.
There are a few hues on mammals that come close to the color green. You have seen black, white, orange, yellow, and even red animals.
Tortoiseshell cats wear camouflage, but it is more of a woodsy variety than army or grass green is.
Read on to find out why there aren’t more green animals for the camouflage benefits.
The reason why aren’t there more green animals for camouflage
Camouflage isn’t the only reason why most animals aren’t green. An animal’s coloring can serve as a deterrent to threats. Birds like peacocks, use their colorful feathers to seek a mate, which, can also apply to reptiles. Others even use their colors to disguise themselves to sneak up on their potential prey.
Why Green isn’t the Predominant Color in Nature
The Vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) has a genital area with red, white, and blue hues. The vividness of the colors appears to be related to the dominance of a male within the troop.
By studying these primates, it has been learned that bright colors on mammals are used in the same manner as birds, reptiles, and insects.
The bright colors are a mating call and a factor in the male competition for a mate and not camouflage.
However, the most colorful mammal is the Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx). This primate has a yellow beard and a face and backsides with red, white, bright blue, and violet-toned skin.
Their fur is two-toned brown.
Like Vervet monkeys, the brighter the coloring of the Mandrill, the more dominant they are within the tribe.
The Mandrill lives in groups that contain several females that have a dominant male as the leader.
Do Mammals Have Camouflaged Fur
The two and three-toed sloth has green-hued fur. However, it is due to algae, rather than its being born with this unusual coloring.
The green algae offer protection as they move within the canopy of the rain forest, but that is not its true purpose.
The sloth cultivates the algae to attract moths, and sloths who had the most algae had the healthiest fur. Scientists have determined the sloth is effectually growing its food in its fur.
The algae that grow there are nitrogen-rich, and the sloth can use it as a food source to supplement its diet and camouflage. So, although the two and three-toed sloths are not born green, their adaptation to their habitat has taught them to survive by becoming green.
Most mammals are ground animals, and being brightly colored would make them an easy target. Their subdued hues are better camouflage than if they were red, blue, or green.
Why the Fur of Mammals are so Dull
An animal’s coloring is generally suited to its environment. For example, most mammals don’t live in the canopy of a forest.
Instead, they live under the trees and roam against the browns and greys of tree trunks and rocks.
Even though the sloth has a penchant for green-tinted fur, its color results from a dietary need. It would be cool if there were, but there are no green furry animals in nature.
If you consider mammals in the wild, their coloring will camouflage them in habitats they call home. For example, the jaguar may not be green or pink.
Still, its black spots, against its yellowish-colored fur, make them almost invisible against the sand and grass of their habitats.
The jaguar does not use its camouflage to protect it; it uses it as cover as it sneaks up on its next meal. Unfortunately, jaguars aren’t the only animals that use their coloring as an offensive weapon instead of color as a defense.
The snow rabbit is another animal whose color gives it protection from predators. The pure white of its fur makes it hard to locate in the snow.
Frequently Asked Questions about Why There Aren’t More Green Animals for Camouflage
Why is green so common in nature?
The pigment giving plants their green color is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll, then, is the biggest reason plants are green.
Why do birds have such bright colors?
Brightly colored birds are usually the males of the species, and they use their colors to attract mates. For example, consider the cardinal. The male is bright red. The female is light brown and has the same features but is not as flashy by half.
Green is a Common Color in Nature, but There are No Animals with Green Fur
The way the animal kingdom has evolved is exciting. It seems that the brightest colors among them belong to the avian and reptile families.
Although there are very beautiful mammals, the array of colors found among birds, frogs, and even spiders, is truly amazing.
The most colorful creatures on earth include the Gouldian Finch, the Peacock spider, and the red-eyed tree frog, which are some of the most colorful creatures in existence.
Their colors help hide them and as a way to draw mates.