Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What The Eye Doesn't See: Birds Can Be Deceived By Camouflage In The Same Way That Humans Are

Date:
March 18, 2005
Source:
University Of Bristol
Summary:
The first experimental evidence that birds can be deceived by camouflage in the same way that humans are deceived, is published in Nature [3 March 2005].

Artificial moth on tree bark.
Credit: Photo courtesy of University Of Bristol

The first experimental evidence that birds can be deceived by camouflage in the same way that humans are deceived, is published today in Nature [3 March 2005].

The idea that bold contrasting colours help to break-up the body's outline was rapidly adopted by many armies as long ago as the First World War. And in biology this idea of 'disruptive colouration' has long been used to explain how insects such as moths conceal themselves from predators, shaping the evolution of protective coloration in insects.

Innovative research from the University of Bristol provides the strongest evidence to date that disruptive patterns do indeed protect insects from detection by birds, the predator most likely to have shaped the evolution of protective coloration in insects.

Professor Innes Cuthill and his team pinned artificial 'moths' to trees in a field with a dead mealworm attached. The 'moths' were triangular pieces of waterproof card with specific patterns printed on them. By varying the colours, size and location of patterns on the moths the team were able to mimic real tree characteristics and identify which pattern combinations were the most successful.

Professor Innes Cuthill said: "The rate at which mealworms were eaten by birds gives a measure of how effective each combination was at preventing detection by a predator. Combinations that gave a better disguise took longer to be seen, and it therefore took longer for the mealworms to be eaten."

This research provides the first evidence that patterns which deceive humans operate in a similar way to those in non-human predators such as birds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Bristol. "What The Eye Doesn't See: Birds Can Be Deceived By Camouflage In The Same Way That Humans Are." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309115827.htm>.
University Of Bristol. (2005, March 18). What The Eye Doesn't See: Birds Can Be Deceived By Camouflage In The Same Way That Humans Are. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309115827.htm
University Of Bristol. "What The Eye Doesn't See: Birds Can Be Deceived By Camouflage In The Same Way That Humans Are." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309115827.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) The Buenos Aires Zoo debuted a trio of rare white Bengal tiger cubs on Wednesday. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins