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      The key role of behaviour in animal camouflage


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          Animal camouflage represents one of the most important ways of preventing (or facilitating) predation. It attracted the attention of the earliest evolutionary biologists, and today remains a focus of investigation in areas ranging from evolutionary ecology, animal decision‐making, optimal strategies, visual psychology, computer science, to materials science. Most work focuses on the role of animal morphology per se, and its interactions with the background in affecting detection and recognition. However, the behaviour of organisms is likely to be crucial in affecting camouflage too, through background choice, body orientation and positioning; and strategies of camouflage that require movement. A wealth of potential mechanisms may affect such behaviours, from imprinting and self‐assessment to genetics, and operate at several levels (species, morph, and individual). Over many years there have been numerous studies investigating the role of behaviour in camouflage, but to date, no effort to synthesise these studies and ideas into a coherent framework. Here, we review key work on behaviour and camouflage, highlight the mechanisms involved and implications of behaviour, discuss the importance of this in a changing world, and offer suggestions for addressing the many important gaps in our understanding of this subject.

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          A Predator’s View of Animal Color Patterns

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            Molecular and functional basis of phenotypic convergence in white lizards at White Sands.

            There are many striking examples of phenotypic convergence in nature, in some cases associated with changes in the same genes. But even mutations in the same gene may have different biochemical properties and thus different evolutionary consequences. Here we dissect the molecular mechanism of convergent evolution in three lizard species with blanched coloration on the gypsum dunes of White Sands, New Mexico. These White Sands forms have rapidly evolved cryptic coloration in the last few thousand years, presumably to avoid predation. We use cell-based assays to demonstrate that independent mutations in the same gene underlie the convergent blanched phenotypes in two of the three species. Although the same gene contributes to light phenotypes in these White Sands populations, the specific molecular mechanisms leading to reduced melanin production are different. In one case, mutations affect receptor signaling and in the other, the ability of the receptor to integrate into the melanocyte membrane. These functional differences have important ramifications at the organismal level. Derived alleles in the two species show opposite dominance patterns, which in turn affect their visibility to selection and the spatial distribution of alleles across habitats. Our results demonstrate that even when the same gene is responsible for phenotypic convergence, differences in molecular mechanism can have dramatic consequences on trait expression and ultimately the adaptive trajectory.
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              Predator perception and the interrelation between different forms of protective coloration.

              Animals possess a range of defensive markings to reduce the risk of predation, including warning colours, camouflage, eyespots and mimicry. These different strategies are frequently considered independently, and with little regard towards predator vision, even though they may be linked in various ways and can be fully understood only in terms of predator perception. For example, camouflage and warning coloration need not be mutually exclusive, and may frequently exploit similar features of visual perception. This paper outlines how different forms of protective markings can be understood from predator perception and illustrates how this is fundamental in determining the mechanisms underlying, and the interrelation between, different strategies. Suggestions are made for future work, and potential mechanisms discussed in relation to various forms of defensive coloration, including disruptive coloration, eyespots, dazzle markings, motion camouflage, aposematism and mimicry.

                Author and article information

                Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc
                Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc
                Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                21 June 2018
                February 2019
                : 94
                : 1 ( doiID: 10.1111/brv.2019.94.issue-1 )
                : 116-134
                [ 1 ] Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences University of Exeter, Penryn Campus Penryn, TR10 9FE U.K.
                [ 2 ] School of Biology University of St Andrews St Andrews, KY16 9TH U.K.
                Author notes
                [*] [* ]Address for correspondence (Tel: +01326 259358; E‐mail: martin.stevens@ 123456exeter.ac.uk )
                Author information
                © 2018 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 16 March 2018
                : 25 May 2018
                : 31 May 2018
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, Pages: 19, Words: 15751
                Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
                Award ID: BB/L017709/1
                Award ID: BB/J018309/1
                Original Article
                Original Articles
                Custom metadata
                February 2019
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:5.5.9 mode:remove_FC converted:18.02.2019

                camouflage, behaviour, decision‐making, vision, learning, crypsis, movement


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