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Predator Behaviour and the Perfection of Incipient Mimetic Resemblances

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image of Behaviour

Eight chickens were trained to avoid a hypothetical model. They were then presented with hypothetical mimics and the amount of avoidance recorded (fig. 1). The data suggest three selection pressures causing improvement of resemblances:1. The combination of different components of the model's pattern (e.g. red plus black) may increase protection against an individual predator. The time at which an improvement appears may he critical. 2. An improved resemblance may protect the mimic from a greater variety of predators. Possible causes of predator variation are noted. 3. An improved resemblance may decrease the chance that a predator will learn not to avoid the mimic. This may also permit an increase in the population size of the mimic.

Affiliations: 1: Illinois State Normal University, Normal


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