The Web of Life (15-6-8) Deception continued 3


Cuttlefish have the splendid ability to change their patterned colorings quickly at will. A male cuttlefish may flash an elaborate courtship display to a female on the side of his body that she can see while presenting a deceptive business-as-usual pattern on the other side, so that another male looking on has no reason to perceive the suitor as a rival.

Topis are antelopes that live on the savannas of equatorial Africa. A male topi might keep a potential mate from wandering away by deceptively snorting in alarm that there is a lion nearby. This trick has limited effectiveness. If plied too many times, the female catches on and walks away.

Elephants can be deceptive. A zoo elephant finished off its hay ration, then nonchalantly idled over to its neighbor’s hay pile, aimlessly swinging its trunk and nabbing bites on the sly.

Dogs are deceiving. They are also quick to catch on when being deceived.