We have developed a number of ‘citizen science’ games; by playing them you’re helping us understand vision and camouflage:

Crab-hunting Game

Green shore crabs are one of the most common crab species found in rock pools around the UK, and are a highly invasive species around the world. The appearance of juvenile crabs varies considerably, and they can even alter their appearance to match their backgrounds. In this game you need to find the photographed crabs as quickly as possible against their natural rock-pool backgrounds, generating valuable data for us on how humans learn to find camouflaged prey.

“Moth” Game

The data generated from this game will help us to test a number of different theories related to the “moth’s” camouflage, and how people learn to overcome specific camouflage strategies. The prey take the form of triangles (similar to the shape of moths which often rest on tree bark), with patterns and grey levels that are designed to match their backgrounds. In each game no two moths are alike, which allows us to investigate the general properties of their camouflage and prevents people learning to find one specific moth. We can then assess how the moth’s appearance interacts with its background to influence capture times.

Catch the Crab Game

This computer experiment, developed with FoAM Kernow and the Natural History Museum, will aid our understanding of the success of crab camouflage by testing how quickly they are caught by predators with different visual systems, and how animals adapt to different environments. We want to know how camouflaged crabs are to the eyes of predators in different habitats. Play this citizen science game to help us find out.

Evolving Egg Game

Be a part of evolution in action! In this game the eggs evolve over time to evade being caught. The egg evolution data will help us make new discoveries concerning camouflage and its evolution. The game is a genuine scientific experiment that anyone around the world with a computer, smartphone or tablet can take part in, with the aim to understand how different types of camouflage evolve in different habitat types and investigate how camouflage works to defeat predator vision and improve survival chances.

Where is that Nightjar?

Nightjars are a master of camouflage. They lay their eggs on the ground and use the camouflage of their own bodies to stop predators seeing them and eating their clutch (not to mention themselves). In this game you can hunt for nightjars using the simulated colour vision of two of their major predators; monkeys or mongooses.

Spot the Egg

Many birds lay their eggs on the ground and depend on the camouflage of their eggs to protect them from predators. This game shows a number of natural nests we found in Zambia from plovers, coursers and nightjars. You can choose to find the nests using the simulated colour vision of a monkey or a genet. The data generated helps us to investigate the role of colour vision in breaking camouflage.