Patterns derived from military camouflage are frequently used in fashion clothing, exploiting their strong designs and sometimes their symbolism.Camouflage themes recur in modern art, and both figuratively and literally in science fiction and works of literature.Grouse, if not destroyed at some period of their lives, would increase in countless numbers; they are known to suffer largely from birds of prey; and hawks are guided by eyesight to their prey, so much so, that on parts of the Continent persons are warned not to keep white pigeons, as being the most liable to destruction.
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Military camouflage was spurred by the increasing range and accuracy of firearms in the 19th century.
In particular the replacement of the inaccurate musket with the rifle made personal concealment in battle a survival skill.
In the open ocean, where there is no background, the principal methods of camouflage are transparency, silvering, and countershading, while the ability to produce light is among other things used for counter-illumination on the undersides of cephalopods such as squid.
Some animals, such as chameleons and octopuses, are capable of actively changing their skin pattern and colours, whether for camouflage or for signalling.
In April 1917, when German U-boats were sinking many British ships with torpedoes, the marine artist Norman Wilkinson devised dazzle camouflage, which paradoxically made ships more visible but harder to target.