Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Disruptive Coloration

  • Changku KangEmail author
  • Thomas N. Sherratt
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2666-1



Disruptive coloration is a set of high contrast markings that creates false edges and boundaries and thereby hinders the detection or recognition of an object’s true outline and shape.

History and Mechanisms

Disruptive coloration is a camouflage technique in which concealment is attained using high contrast markings. These markings create false edges inside an object and/or obscure existing ones, and thereby disrupt the detection or recognition of the object’s true outline. Thus disruptive coloration combines two methods of concealment: (i) creating the appearance of false edges and boundaries within an object and (ii) concealing the real object boundary (Stevens and Meriliata 2009).

Disruptive coloration is seemingly widely employed in animal kingdom, and the approach has been exploited in a variety of fields including the military and art. Although the phenomenon was eluded to by the prominent naturalist the Henry Walter...


Color Pattern Disruption Effect Visual Background False Edge Disruptive Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Russell Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IdahoMoscowUSA