10 Facts About Animal coloration


Animal coloration is the general appearance of an animal resulting from the reflection or emission of light from its surfaces.

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Animal coloration has been a topic of interest and research in biology for centuries.

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Animal coloration discovered that apparently similar butterflies often belonged to different families, with a harmless species mimicking a poisonous or bitter-tasting species to reduce its chance of being attacked by a predator, in the process now called after him, Batesian mimicry.

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Edward Bagnall Poulton's strongly Darwinian 1890 book The Colours of Animals, their meaning and use, especially considered in the case of insects argued the case for three aspects of animal coloration that are broadly accepted today but were controversial or wholly new at the time.

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Abbott Handerson Thayer's 1909 book Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom, completed by his son Gerald H Thayer, argued correctly for the widespread use of crypsis among animals, and in particular described and explained countershading for the first time.

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Animal coloration provided important early evidence for evolution by natural selection, at a time when little direct evidence was available.

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Animal coloration described: protective resemblance; aggressive resemblance; adventitious protection; and variable protective resemblance.

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Animal coloration argued that a predator, such as a young bird, must attack at least one insect, say a wasp, to learn that the black and yellow colours mean a stinging insect.

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Structural Animal coloration means the production of colour by microscopically-structured surfaces fine enough to interfere with visible light, sometimes in combination with pigments: for example, peacock tail feathers are pigmented brown, but their structure makes them appear blue, turquoise and green.

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Structural Animal coloration can produce the most brilliant colours, often iridescent.

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