Countershading
Body coloration in aquatic, aerial or microgravity animals in which the top and bottom sides are colored differently, serving to camouflage the animal from multiple perspectives. Generally, the top or lightward portion is much darker than the belly. For an typical fish for instance when the animal is viewed from above, its dark dorsal surface blends into the dark ocean depths or ocean floor; when viewed from below, the light-colored belly blends in with the light above. Countershading is as common in animals adapted to microgravity habs,and may also be seen in vacuum adapted animals or bots. In such cases the starward/sunward side of the organism is dark, while the other side is pale or even luminescent.

Countershading is also used in some aquatic, airborne, or interplanetary vehicles.
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss

Initially published on 24 September 2001.