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Coloration of an animal in which the upper side is darker in color than the underside, thought to be a form of camouflage.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Zoology) (in the coloration of certain animals) a pattern, serving as camouflage, in which dark colours occur on parts of the body exposed to the light and pale colours on parts in the shade
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkaʊn tərˌʃeɪ dɪŋ)

(of an animal) coloration that is dark on parts of the body surface that are usu. exposed to the sun and light on parts usu. in shade.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The dinosaur also showed countershading patterns, in which the top part of the animal is darker-colored and the bottom is lighter.
The researchers came to that conclusion based on studies of the dinosaur's skin, showing that Borealopelta exhibited countershading, a common form of camouflage in which an animal's underside is lighter than its back.
If it is a bright day, a bright color such as blue and white mimics the natural countershading of a baitfish.
Humans have higher visual acuity within the achromatic channel: this explains why JPEGs are still visually legible after image-file compression, and how artists direct the gaze and influence our perception of value in the achromatic channel through techniques such as countershading. Berns suggests that for the purposes of a conservator; matching the chromatic content is less important than matching the achromatic content of an area when carrying out imitative inpainting.
That type of coloring, called countershading, shows up in animals from penguins to fish and may act as a form of camouflage.
Psittacosaurus was mainly brown but with a paler underside of the tail and belly, a pattern called countershading that may have helped the 1.5-metrebipedal plant-eater go unnoticed by hungry predators, the scientists said on Thursday.
This is achieved either through crypsis--the process of blending with a background through methods including countershading and disruptive patterning--or mimicry which allows an object to stand out but in disguise.
In addition, the statocyst is necessary for proper vestibular function, such as the countershading reflex, dorsal light reflex, and compensatory counter rolling of the eyes.
Some have pearlescent blue or black countershading. A baitfish falling out of its school is losing its color.
A dark strip at the top and a white splash underneath disrupt our expectations of how an object will appear (countershading).