Sheep in Wolf Clothing

Sheep in Wolf clothing
Sheep in Wolf clothing


Many animals work an “honest” living through their size, strength, and hunting prowess to survive. Likewise, we do the same to get what we want in life. If we are lacking in some way, we do what animals do to survive;

Deception, Treachery, and Downright Fraud

A selection of animals have chosen deception, treachery, and downright fraud to either resemble dangerous animals for protection (defensive mimicry). For example the Milk snake (Fig 1). This beautiful harmless Snake has a coloration that mimics the highly venomous Coral Snake and in doing so avoids being eaten by predators, very clever!.

Milk Snake
Fig 1: Milk Snake

Some animals pass as a literal wolf in sheep’s clothing to get within striking distance of prey (aggressive mimicry).  A strange and rather morbid feat of deception shown by the Nimbochromis Cichlids (Fig 2) is to lie limply on their sides on the lake bottom. When a curious scavenging fish approaches, the fishy corpse suddenly “resurrects” into a truly lethal predator, consuming the curious investigator. The strange fish are often nicknamed “sleepers” due to their rather creepy hunting habits.

Fig 2. Nimbochromis cichlid (Sleepers)

Survival of the Adapters

Unlike animals, we no longer have predators to worry about that will eat us! But we do, however, have stresses like animals to either blend in or stand out. We can mimic a bad or good behavior of a person either consciously or subconsciously to be like them to impress. This is adapting to a situation so we can to control it. We do this like animals as a survival technique.

We are different.

A positive example of mimicry is emulating a positive role model to make a positive change in your life. A negative example would be a negative person imprinting on you. We are higher thinking animals and this is where the difference lies, the good news is we can control how we react to ANY situation.

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Dr Wendy Meddelton