The Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa is hosting, from 17 March to 12 November 2023, the exhibition ‘Kryptòs. Deception and camouflage in the animal world’, with live animals, large-format photographs and video projections.
In nature, nothing is as it seems and deception is the only constant. Mimicry does not just mean hiding, but pretending to be something else; animals take on the shapes and colours of their surroundings, or frighten their enemies with flashy colours. Many pretend to be what they really are not: a leaf, a flower, a twig, a tuft of moss, or they adopt the livery of dangerous species when they have no offensive means at all.
The exhibition ‘Kryptòs. Deception and camouflage in the animal world’ narrates this fascinating world with a selection of interesting live animals: frogs, leaf insects, mantids and spiders with surprising liveries, presented inside large furnished terrariums that reproduce the natural environment of the species housed (all born in captivity and not dangerous).
In the first part, the exhibition illustrates the adaptations that animals develop to blend in with the environments in which they live; in the second part, it shows the colourful warning colours and the most refined forms of deception. Finally, the last section recounts the different ways in which animals see the world and explains the reason for some curious liveries. The exhibition is enriched by large-format photographs and wall-mounted video projections that tell the story of the secret lives of the species present.
The exhibition “Kryptòs. Deception and camouflage in the animal world” is curated by Emanuele Biggi and Francesco Tomasinelli, naturalists, professional photographers and authors of several scientific exhibitions.