Adriane Dumont December 4, 2019 Animal
Protective resemblance is used by prey to avoid predation. It includes special protective resemblance, now called mimesis, where the whole animal looks like some other object, for example when a caterpillar resembles a twig or a bird dropping. In general protective resemblance, now called crypsis, the animal’s texture blends with the background, for example when a moth’s color and pattern blend in with tree bark.
Some animals are colored purely incidentally because their blood contains pigments. For example, amphibians like the olm that live in caves may be largely colorless as color has no function in that environment, but they show some red because of the haem pigment in their red blood cells, needed to carry oxygen. They also have a little orange colored riboflavin in their skin. Human albinos and people with fair skin have a similar color for the same reason.
Mimicry means that one species of animal resembles another species closely enough to deceive predators. To evolve, the mimicked species must have warning coloration, because appearing to be bitter-tasting or dangerous gives natural selection something to work on. Once a species has a slight, chance, resemblance to a warning colored species, natural selection can drive its colors and patterns towards more perfect mimicry. There are numerous possible mechanisms, of which by far the best known are:
Pigments are colored chemicals (such as melanin) in animal tissues.
When color is transmitted from the eye to the brain, the brain releases a hormone affecting the emotions, mind clarity and energy levels. The negative and positive psychological effects of colors can be observed in human beings based on the combinations they are used in. While babies feel unsettled in a room of mainly yellow, they can feel peaceful and calm in a room painted in a combination of blue, green and yellow.
For example, the Arctic fox has a white coat in winter (containing little pigment), and a brown coat in summer (containing more pigment), an example of seasonal camouflage.
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