Ring-tailed lemur

Seeing black and white

Beautiful black and white bird stands along water's edge

There are many colorful creatures in the Animal Kingdom. But for a lot of critters, black and white is all right! Some of our favorite mammals wear this combination, like the panda and zebra. The black-and-white smew, a type of duck, thinks those two colors go swimmingly with its beak and feet! In the reptile world, the Boelen's python adds a slight colorful shimmer to its black-and-white skin. Even the insect world goes black-and-white sometimes: just ask the spotted assassin bug!

Black and white snake is perfectly camouflaged in the shadows

Hide in plain sight

What's the advantage of these two "plain" colors? For many animals, it's a matter of seeing, or, actually, not being seen. In many cases, a black-and-white pattern is good camouflage, which means it makes the animal hard to see. On the other hand, if you are a hungry snake, those black and white bands are good in habitats where there are patches of sun and shade. A black and white banded snake can easily hide from its prey.

Black and white ring-tailed lemurs rest on a tree

At-home camouflage

Do you have black-and-white pets? Can you see them in your backyard or are they using camouflage to see you first? Watch the video above meet another black-and-white beauty: the ring-tailed lemur. Maybe now you see black and white in a whole new light!