Monday, February 14, 2005

6: Constrained camouflage facilitates the evolution of conspicuous warning coloration, Merilaita, et al. (2005) Evolution 59:1

Camouflage is expensive, so toxic beasts evolve warning coloration. The authors show this through computer simulations and phylogenetic analysis. In particular, nocturnal species of butterly don't evolve displays, but diurnal species do. The simulations rely on evolutionary theory, and generate testable predictions. The phylogenetic analysis relies up, tests and provides confirmation of evolutionary hypotheses.