Source: Evolution: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea"
CHRIS SCHNEIDER, Biologist: Take a look at this mantis here. This thing is almost perfectly disguised as a leaf, but you can see, if you look at the underside, that it's a praying mantis just like you'd find in a garden in North America. But this one is highly modified. Its thorax is flattened out to look like a leaf, and its wings are modified to look like leaves. You can even see the veins.
If you imagined a population of mantises and some looked more like leaves than others, those ones that look like leaves may tend to survive and reproduce more than others. And so a series of modifications could build up over time to result in an almost perfectly leaf like mantis.
But if you put it on a background on which it doesn't belong, I mean, it just sticks out like a sore thumb. It would almost certainly... hey, where you going there, pal? It would almost certainly get eaten by something.
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