• The colours of insects and many smaller animals contribute to conceal them from the larger ones which prey upon them. Caterpillars which feed on leaves are generally green; and earth-worms the colour of the earth which they inhabit; butter-flies, which frequent flowers, are coloured like them; small birds which frequent hedges have greenish backs like the leaves, and light-coloured bellies like the sky, and are hence less visible to the hawk who passes under them or over them.

    Erasmus Darwin (1807). “The Botanic Garden: A Poem, in Two Parts: Part I. Containing The Economy of Vegetation. Part II. The Loves of the Plants”