Aren’t they cute?
(Click to greatly embiggen)
Costa Rican caterpillars are smart. They’ve evolved to mimic the eyes and faces of their predator’s predators: snakes. When birds looking for a caterpillar to eat see these snake eyes or faces, the birds instinctively flee.
Better yet, all these different types of caterpillars haven’t evolved similar-looking disguises, because then the birds would eventually recognize the disguises and realize that the caterpillars were disguising themselves. Instead, the caterpillars have all evolved a huge number of disguises.
Now that they’re grown up, these fake eyes and faces of adult caterpillars look even more like snakes.(Click to greatly embiggen)
A tropical horde of counterfeit predator eyes by Daniel H. Janzena, Winnie Hallwachsa, and John M. Burns, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Link to free PDF of paper>>