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Friday, December 9, 2022

The Incredible Colors of Animals Mean Different Things, But We Just Found a Pattern | Science Alert

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The majority of the species the researchers analyzed began life very plain and drab, evolving their vibrant hues over time, and most of them live in surroundings in which their vivid colors stand out, according to the researchers’ analysis.

In strawberry poison-dart frogs (Oophaga pumilio), a male’s beautiful red coloration is a stern warning to stay away should you consume a mouthful of a potent, lethal toxin. The brilliant red of a male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) serves as a signal for possible mates to get closer. Zachary Emberts, an evolutionary biologist at Oklahoma State University, and John Wiens, a colleague from the University of Arizona, pondered how the same colors could have evolved to serve such disparate functions in other creatures. They studied 1,824 species of land vertebrates, classifying their colour as either come-hither or get-lost, and discovered the link tying each group together (aquatic animals can be a completely different kettle of fish). Birds and lizards are examples of come-hither animals that are descended from predecessors that were active during the day. The animals that become lost, including snakes and amphibians, are related to nocturnal ancestors. They discovered that there is no current connection between animal activity during the day and night and coloration; rather, the connection is only ancestral. The evolution of terrestrial vertebrates, which dates back about 350 million years, appears to have shared this trait.

Source:https://www.sciencealert.com/the-incredible-colors-of-animals-mean-different-things-but-we-just-found-a-pattern 

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