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Why does a tiger have a bright orange color?

All carnivorous animals eat the meat of other animals. But catching a prey is not so easy even for the largest and most powerful predator, because the prey can simply run away. But before running away from a predator, the victim must notice it. Almost all living organisms have a color that will make them less noticeable. Camouflage is a very important quality in all animals. For predators, camouflage helps to get closer to the prey, remaining unnoticed, and for their prey, to be less visible to predators. Almost all forest animals have dark colors. Dark colors help them blend into the soil and branches. Desert animals such as the camel and some reptiles have a sand-like coloration. Animals living in the Arctic have white colors to blend in with the snow and ice. Camouflage helps animals survive. Disguise is used not only by animals, but also by people. The camouflage suit helps hunters and soldiers blend in with the natural environment.

The tiger is also a predator. The tiger is known for its coloration. Tigers have bright, eye-catching colors. The fur of the tiger has a bright orange color, with black stripes. The tiger has a bright, bewitching color, it is very beautiful, but in the wild this beauty is useless. And here the question arises why the orange color, because against the background of the earth and leaves, this color stands out very strongly. No matter how quietly the tiger sneaks, with this color it is easy to spot even from afar. Why does he need an orange color, does he need a good disguise?

With the stripes on the body of the tiger, everything is clear, they are needed to merge with the branches of trees and bushes, but the color … Despite such a bright color, the tiger still remains unnoticed by many animals. What’s the matter?

A healthy human eye recognizes three colors: green, blue and red. This set of receptors helps to distinguish any colors and their shades. It is from these colors that screen pixels are made. People with color blindness cannot distinguish all of these colors. Let’s get back to tiger disguise. The fact is that not all animals can distinguish all three colors. Almost all herbivores can only see greens and blues and cannot see red, and it is red that needs to be seen to see orange. So the main victims of the tiger see it as green, merging with green leaves. There are two more questions: why can’t a tiger make himself real green fur? And one more thing: why don’t herbivores learn to distinguish between red colors?

Let’s start with the first one, why can’t the tiger get green fur? After all, he will hide them from animals that distinguish red. First, a tiger cannot physically turn its fur green. And not only the tiger, all mammals cannot make themselves green fur, there is no such pigment that could make their fur green. Such a pigment is found in plants, but mammals cannot synthesize it. But even if the tiger had green fur, it would not give him a strong advantage, again, all the animals hunted by the tiger are dichromats.

There is no clear answer to the second question yet, of course, if dichromatic animals distinguish red, they will be able to see the approaching tiger earlier and start running away earlier. But for some reason, evolution did not give them the opportunity to see red. Perhaps in the future, something will change, and evolution will make it possible for herbivores to distinguish red. That’s when tigers will need green camouflage, and evolution will work out a new way to make tiger fur green. But that’s just speculation…

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