The tranquil beauty of silver animals, from metallic reflected beetles to dignified senior simians, reflects their place as some of nature’s most magnificent creatures. This beauty may be found in a wide variety of species. Even if gold may be more eye-catching, silver animals are not to be considered inferior and should not take a back seat to anybody. The best part is that their fiery argent ornamentation will never get tarnished no matter the conditions outside.
Silverfish, also known as Lespisma sacchrina, are wingless insects that may grow to be as long as 3/4 inches (approximately 2 centimetres). They have flexible bodies and move in a fish-like manner, which is where their most prevalent slang moniker comes from. These characteristics contributed to the development of the name. Because their numerous ridged, overlapping scales reflect light, silverfish have the appearance of being silver in colour. It’s easy to lose the scales, which gives the impression that these common home pests are “dusted” with silver.
Those lucky enough to get a glimpse of the shimmering metallic beetles that call the jungles of Costa Rica home have been captivated and enchanted by them for ages. Indeed, these beetles (Chrysina limbata) and their golden counterparts (Chrysina aurigans) are the animals that seem to be made of the most metallic substance. Their chitinous wing coverings, which cover the majority of their upper bodies, hold the key to their success. Chitin can reflect and magnify light without the need of any real metal because to its up to 70 very thin layers that are only partially transparent.
The most well-known species of metallic-bodied flies belong to the family Calliphoridae and are known as Blow-Flies and Bottle Flies, respectively. The bodies of the latter species are often blue or green and reflect light. However, several species of flies emerge from their pupal stage with no pigmentation, giving their exoskeletons the appearance of having a metallic shine. It’s possible that macro images of these freshly emerging flies may remind viewers more of future cyborg robots than they would of typical insects.
The menacingly big silver spider at the top of the composite picture above is a member of the genus Cyphonisia. It is referred to in common parlance as the Silver Trapdoor Spider, and it is most certainly not something that anybody would want to stumble into! Dewdrop Spiders are the name given to the aforementioned spiders that are smaller and more silvery in appearance. These small, jewel-like spiders of the genus Argyrodes don’t construct their own webs; instead, they prefer to lurk in and around the webs of larger garden spiders, where their shiny bodies remind onlookers of droplets of morning dew. Argyrodes spiders are found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
An enormous school of fish, consisting of hundreds or possibly thousands of slender, silvery fish, is considered to be one of the natural marvels of the ocean. Schools of fish safeguard their species as a whole by congregating together as a symbol of the principle of “safety in numbers,” which makes it easier for predators to find easy prey. However, this also makes it easier for the fish to be eaten. As for their silver scales, a great variety of fish species have adapted this type of deceptive camouflage, which has the additional advantage of making their bodies smoother, which enables them to move more quickly.
The incredible silver frogs that James Gunter photographed and posted above may be found in the little puddles that are scattered over the scorchingly hot and arid desert surroundings that they call home. It’s possible that these frogs’ skin has become semi-transparent and reflecting over millions of years in order to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful visible and UV radiation. Because frogs and other amphibians breathe in part via their skin, they face a constant risk of dehydration; thus, maintaining their moisture content is of the utmost importance in arid environments.
Leapin’ lizards! However, even immobile lizards may have silvery colouring, at least in some of their body parts. In addition, numerous other species of skinks may be found in certain regions of Australia; these skinks have a scaly, silvery appearance to varying degrees. It is not necessary to use real metal in order to get the reflecting aspect that is characteristic of so-called “metallic creatures.” Instead, these organisms have developed a metallic sheen as a survival strategy, which just so happens to be something that humans tend to think is lovely.
Both snakes and lizards are classified as reptiles, and their bodies are covered in scales that may take on a variety of colours. Under certain lighting circumstances, the scales of some species of snakes are so glossy that they give the appearance of being reflected. It is a frequent misconception that snakes with such a silvery sheen are rare and unique. In fact, the Rat Snakes seen above have a subtle silver sheen that betrays their lowly ancestry and may be found all over the world.
About eight percent of wild foxes in Canada have shiny, silvery fur that, upon closer study, is really made up of dark brown, grey, and white hairs. This melanistic variety of the more common Red Fox is known as the Silver Fox. Dmitry Belyaev, a Russian scientist, began the process of domesticating foxes in 1959 and is now conducting the experiment using silver foxes as the test animals. Belyaev raised Silver Foxes for tameness over many generations and watched as the foxes progressively became more dog-like in both their behaviour and their looks. He did this so that the foxes might be kept as pets. The experiment had many outcomes, one of which was that the carefully bred Silver Foxes lost their characteristic “silver” hair and were instead covered with a multicoloured coat similar to that of domesticated dogs, cats, cows, and pigs.
Graying is no longer limited to the human population. It is unknown why older male gorillas develop silvery grey hair on their backs and hindquarters. It is also unclear whether or not other gorillas recognise the unusual appearance of these “silverbacks” and change their behaviour appropriately. To say that in gorilla culture, having achieved the position of silverback signifies that you have arrived at the pinnacle of power and influence is an understatement. The ability to achieve a state of silverness is shared by mountain gorillas and their relatives who live in the lowlands. Oddly enough, only male gorillas experience the greying process, in contrast to humans.