Madeline Aubert June 22, 2019 Fruit
When we see leaf-eating insects green, and bark-feeders mottled-grey; the alpine ptarmigan white in winter, the red-grouse the colour of heather, and the black-grouse that of peaty earth, we must believe that these tints are of service to these birds and insects in preserving them from danger. 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. Hence I can see no reason to doubt that natural selection might be most effective in giving the proper colour to each kind of grouse, and in keeping that colour, when once acquired, true and constant.
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 crypts among animals, and in particular described and explained countershading for the first time. However, the Thayers spoilt their case by arguing that camouflage was the sole purpose of animal coloration, which led them to claim that even the brilliant pink plumage of the flamingo or the roseate spoonbill was cryptic—against the momentarily pink sky at dawn or dusk. As a result, the book was mocked by critics including Theodore Roosevelt as having ”pushed [the ”doctrine” of concealing coloration] to such a fantastic extreme and to include such wild absurdities as to call for the application of common sense thereto.
Warning coloration is effectively the ”opposite” of camouflage, and a special case of advertising. Its function is to make the animal, for example a wasp or a coral snake, highly conspicuous to potential predators, so that it is noticed, remembered, and then avoided. As Peter Forbes observes, ”Human warning signs employ the same colours – red, yellow, black, and white – that nature uses to advertise dangerous creatures.” Warning colors work by being associated by potential predators with something that makes the warning colored animal unpleasant or dangerous.
The main mechanisms to create the resemblances described by Poulton – whether in nature or in military applications – are crypts, blending into the background so as to become hard to see (this covers both special and general resemblance); disruptive patterning, using color and pattern to break up the animal’s outline, which relates mainly to general resemblance; mime sis, resembling other objects of no special interest to the observer, which relates to special resemblance; counter shading, using graded color to create the illusion of flatness, which relates mainly to general resemblance; and counter illumination, producing light to match the background, notably in some species of squid.
Blue, in all respects is the total opposite of red. While blue is transparent and wet in appearance red is opaque and dry. Psychologically the cold and comforting nature of blue is the polar opposite of the warmth and excitement of red. In contrast to red, blue reduces body temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate. Blue evokes feelings of contentment, spaciousness and comfort due to being the color of the sky and ocean as well. As the shade of blue approaches black with the addition of black it may become depressive and melancholic. Blue is a color that is widely recommended for use in children’s rooms. Especially in nurseries, the use of blue helps the baby’s easy and peaceful transition into sleep. It can also be comfortably used with active and vibrant children due to its calming effect. As is the case with all other colors, you can accessorize your room in red and yellow when you choose to paint your walls in blue.
Some prey animals such as zebra are marked with high-contrast patterns which possibly help to confuse their predators, such as lions, during a chase. The bold stripes of a herd of running Zebra have been claimed make it difficult for predators to estimate the prey’s speed and direction accurately, or to identify individual animals, giving the prey an improved chance of escape. Since dazzle patterns (such as the Zebra’s stripes) make animals harder to catch when moving, but easier to detect when stationary, there is an evolutionary trade-off between dazzle and camouflage. Another theory is that the zebra’s stripes could provide some protection from flies and biting insects.
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