Monday, 27 April 2015

Iridescent animals shine to startle predators

Date:April 23, 2015

Source:University of Lincoln

Summary:Animals which appear to shimmer and shine may have evolved these qualities as a way to startle predators, new research suggests.

Iridescent animals, such as kingfishers, peacocks and dragonflies, can produce a mesmerising display of colour depending on the angle of illumination or observation. However, until now there has been limited scientific understanding of the function of iridescence and why this quality, known as 'interference colouration', has evolved independently several times in insects such as beetles and butterflies.

In a new study, published in the scientific journal Biology Letters, Dr Thomas Pike, a behavioural and sensory ecologist at the University of Lincoln, UK, suggests that for some organisms, iridescence evolved as a way to confuse predators. By producing startling changes in colour and brightness, the animal is able to briefly surprise a potential predator, increasing its chance of escape.

No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis