Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Sensory Discrimination and Its Role in the Evolution of Batesian Mimicry

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Behaviour

The conditions of Batesian mimicry have been simulated in a laboratory experiment in which chickens represented the predators and green-coloured drinking solutions their "prey". The darkest solution represented the model and when it was taken a shock was administered to the bird. Two groups of birds and two levels of shock were used. No shock was given when any of the paler solutions ("the mimics") were drunk. The results are in accord with our previous predictions, derived from a study of the properties of sensory systems. The number of times any solution was drunk was dependent on the shock level always received by the bird when it drank the darkest solution, and was less at the higher shock level. At both shock levels the solutions which were more like solution 10 were taken less frequently. The curvature of the resulting regressions differ at the two shock levels, showing that solutions close to number 10 were less readily distinguished at the high-level shock. Thus, the relative selective advantage gained by a mimic is dependent on the penalty which accrues to the predator when it mistakenly takes the distasteful model which is being mimicked. When the consequences are severe, there is minimal selective advantage in improving mimicry beyond a certain point; however, if the consequences are mild, selective advantage continues to operate until a perfect resemblance is produced.


Article metrics loading...


Affiliations: 1: Departments of Zoology & Genetics, University of Liverpool, England


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation