12 Incredible Blue Animals
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Sky blue, sea blue, blueberry, my eyes! Despite being everywhere around us, blue is actually the least common color in nature. Many of the blue things we see actually just appear to be blue without actually having the pigment to make it blue. Standing on the beach and looking out at the vast water, we see "a blue ocean", but if we scoop up a handful of water, it is clear.
NOAA explains it this way: " The ocean is blue because the water absorbs colors in the red part of the spectrum. Like a filter, it leaves colors in the blue part of the spectrum for us to see."
Looking at blue animals, we find some of the same principles. Only a few animals are considered "true blue," such as the olive-winged butterflies with blue stripes on their wings, where the blue color on their wings is actually blue pigment.
Most animals appear blue due to selective reflection (how light is filtered) and iridescence (due to refraction of light waves).
Whether they're "true blue" or look blue, let's take a look at 12 incredible blue animals:
Ready to explore blue animals? A number can be found at a zoo near you! Here are three blue animals you can find in zoos around the world!
Peacocks are blue animals known for their beautiful feather fans. There are three types of peacocks, the Indian peacock is a peacock with a blue body and multi-colored feathers with blue spots.
Male Indian peacocks are blue and females are light brown to blend in with the environment. Peacocks are found all over India and are beloved by many zoos around the world for their bright colors.
There are several species of blue lizards. A common characteristic of lizards is that they change color to appear blue at certain times, such as mating season. Red-headed lizards are usually brown, but they turn their heads red and their bodies blue to attract mates.
The blue iguana is another lizard that looks blue. His color serves two purposes, to blend in with the rock formations and to attract a mate, with males turning a darker blue during mating season.
10. Blue Poison Dart Frog
You wouldn't want to encounter these frogs in the wild, so it's a good thing you get to see them at the zoo! Their skin contains poisonous and potentially deadly toxins. Their blue color is a warning of venomous threats to other predators.
They only live in a few areas of the tropical rainforests of northern Brazil and Suriname. They got their name "dart frogs" from hunters who would trap frogs and dip the tips of darts in poison to create deadly weapons.
blue in film
Blue animals are usually movie stars. Let's take a look at two animals that have recently been the protagonists of popular movies.
9. Spix’s Macaw : Blu from Rio de Janeiro
As the name suggests, Blu is a blue Spix's macaw. This is a macaw with bright blue plumage. In 2000, the bird was declared extinct in the wild and only a small number (177) are kept in captivity. The film Rio de Janeiro has brought attention to this species and other parrots that may be at risk. The blue and gold macaw is probably what you picture when you think of parrots, with its blue wings, yellow belly, and green down on its head. They are more common and can be kept as companion pets.
8. Royal Blue Tang: Finding Nemo and Dory from Finding Nemo
These fish, sometimes called spinetails, are known for their dark blue bodies, yellow tail fins, and yellow fin tips. They have a distinctive black design on the side that people say looks like the number 6. The average size of a blue tang is about the size of an adult's hand, but can range from 4-14 inches in length. You've probably heard the phrase, "play possum" if something is playing dead, but you can also say, "play royal blue tang" (less appealing), when threatened these fish will roll over and Play dead to deter predators.
blue ornamental fish
Exotic fish are some of the most common blue animals on Earth! Let's take a look at a pair of bluefish you can find in an aquarium near you!
7. Blue damselfish
Aquariums in dental offices are always colorful. The bluefish of choice now are usually sapphire blue tangs, such as Dolly, but blue damselfish is actually the most popular blue ornamental fish. One of the reasons for their popularity is because they are like little Chihuahuas at the dog park, ready to take on German Shepherds. Owners find it fun to watch them try to catch bigger fish, especially since they are usually only 3-4 inches long!
6. Blue starfish (star fish)
In addition to colorful fish, aquariums are often lined with colorful corals and starfish. The vibrant blue color of the blue starfish is extra eye-catching. Starfish arms are 3-5 inches long. The most common habitat for starfish is the shallow water that is often found on coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef. Some animals, such as blue whales, appear blue in the water but are gray when out of the water. Blue starfish also appear blue when removed from the water.
blue in your backyard
You can even find blue animals in your backyard! Here are a few birds commonly found in North America that can add a little blue to your life!
These common backyard birds have beautiful blue plumage in various shades. According to allaboutbirds.com , "The pigment in blue jay feathers is melanin, which gives it a brown color. The blue color is caused by light scattering from cells modified on the surface of the feather's barbs."
Bluebirds feed on nuts and insects and help the ecosystem by spreading acorns to plant more oak trees. If you want to lure them to your backyard, try placing a feeder on a pole with suet, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds.
Eastern bluebirds are another common bird that can be found in many backyards across North America. Males have blue back feathers and wings and a rust-colored belly. Females have a gray back, bluish wings, and a tan belly.
Depending on the lighting, they may not appear blue from a distance, but similar to blue jays, the scattering of light makes them appear to have blue plumage. Another species of bluebird is the mountain bluejay, which is completely blue (male). They can be found in the western states and at frequent high altitudes.
Their diet consists mostly of insects and berries, but if they eat blueberries, it won't make them bluer!
Unless you're watching the dog in Blue's Clues, you probably won't find the blue dog. However, both fish and lizards can make great blue pets that can be added to the family for many years! Let's take a look at some of the most popular blue pets!
Want to get up close and personal with an incredible blue animal? Bettas make great pets and you can always observe their beautiful blue fins. Betta has flowing fins that are very impressive. Depending on their origin, they are sometimes called Siamese fighting fish.
Betta is from Thailand (formerly known as Siam) and kids would collect these fish and put them together to watch them fight. Over the years, different colors were introduced and bred to create a wide variety. Bettas can still fight when kept together, so it is recommended to keep only one betta at a time or keep them separately.
Can't decide what color pet you want? Try chameleons, known for changing colors. They don't perfectly match anything that lands on them, but they seem to change color.
Due to changes in hormones and nerve impulses, chameleons are able to alter the layer of skin that contains melanin and create the appearance of different colors, including blue! One of the reasons chameleons change color is to adjust their temperature, absorbing more sunlight to warm them or changing color to cool them down.
blue and new for you
Finally, we have a blue animal that you may not be familiar with! They are one of a kind looking animals that you won't soon forget!
1. Blue Glaucus
Have you ever heard of Blue Glaucus? These tiny sea slugs are only about an inch long and have mobile appendages all over their bodies. They have a trick for keeping their bright blue belly up while floating on their back (by holding air in their stomach), to help camouflage it from flying prey.
Blue glaucus blends with sea water. They feed on Portuguese battleships and store their venom in their appendages as another form of predator protection. Because they're so small, they're unlikely to be the next fad animal like salamanders!
Incredible list of blue animals
Here's our list of 12 incredible blue animals we checked out today!
- poison dart frog
- spikes macaw
- blue damselfish
- blue jay
- blue bird
- betta fish
- Blue Glaucus
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