An Amazonian chick has evolved a crafty way to keep from being eaten: pretend you're a poisonous caterpillar by looking and moving just like one.
In a paper published recently in the journal American Naturalist, scientists report finding, in 2012 observations, an example of mimicry in birds so effective it went unnoticed until now.
The chick in question is the cinereous mourner (Laniocera hypopyrra). The young ones have to wait three weeks as nestlings before they develop enough to take flight, and their nests on the ground leave the chicks especially vulnerable to predation.
With those odds stacked against it, the bird has taken to apparent mimicry, according to the researchers. In short, it looks and acts like either of two toxic caterpillars -- Podalia or Megalopyge. (See video below to be amazed that the creature isn't actually a caterpillar but a baby bird.)