I am referencing this video, where a caterpillar turns into what looks like a snake when it gets frightened, presumably to ward off predators.
Now how can this evolve?
I majored in Molecular Neurobiology and studied evolution, and random molecular evolution makes sense to some degree. Every now and then there are random mutations, sometimes which affect gene / cell-signaling pathways, which could cause reproductive advantages, leading to evolutionary adaptations. But to go so far as to be able to mimic an external structure like a snake, how is that possible? I don't see how that can randomly evolve.
It is as if as a species we have a plan on what we want to become, and we slowly realize that plan by somehow tuning the genes to, say, look like a snake. But that is just me trying to fill in the gaps with imaginative thinking, how something like this can evolve. There are many other examples of incredible things evolving, but this one demonstrates the question perfectly.
Briefly, can you explain how this sort of thing could evolve?