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Latest Mimicry Stories

3a80c972bfa2fa034bda84ccb8c9563c1
2011-04-14 09:50:35

New research reveals how biological arms races between cuckoos and host birds can escalate into a competition between the host evolving new, unique egg patterns (or 'signatures') and the parasite new forgeries. Brood parasitic birds such as cuckoos lay eggs that mimic those of their hosts in an effort to trick them into accepting the alien egg and raising the cuckoo chick as one of their own. New research from the University of Cambridge has found that different bird species parasitized by...

cb017ad3697b95318061b7af688b637a
2011-04-04 21:23:12

Caterpillars that masquerade as twigs to avoid becoming a bird's dinner are actually using clever behavioral strategies to outwit their predators, according to a new study.Researchers at the universities of Exeter, Liverpool, Liverpool Hope and Glasgow have shown that when it comes to the art of camouflage, things are never quite the way they seem.The study, published online today in the journal PNAS, reveals that twig-mimicking caterpillars choose their location to maximize their chances of...

b91bc88c6a4a2380e3b913196af373cb1
2011-03-14 10:50:07

Sex and violence, or at least death, are the key to reproduction for the orchid Satyrium pumilum. Research led by Timothes van der Niet at the University of KwaZulu-Natal shows that the orchid lures flies into its flowers by mimicking the smell of rotting flesh. A new study comparing the scent of the orchids with that of roadkill is to be published in the Annals of Botany http://dx.doi.org10.1093/aob/mcr048 . The orchid S. pumilum is found in sandy, moist conditions near small streams across...

2010-12-23 17:31:03

When prowling for a hook up, it's not always the good-looker who gets the girl. In fact, in a certain species of South American fish, brawn and stealth beat out colorful and refined almost every time. In a series of published studies of a South American species of fish (Poecilia parae), which are closely related to guppies, Syracuse University scientists have discovered how the interplay between male mating strategies and predator behavior has helped preserve the population's distinctive...

2010-11-22 13:31:06

Stretched tube designed by harvard researchers mimics zebra finch songs For centuries, hunters have imitated their avian prey by whistling through their fingers or by carving wooden bird calls. Now a team of physicists at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has reproduced many of the characteristics of real bird song with a simple physical model made of a rubber tube. "We wanted to know if you [could] build a simple device, which has minimal control but reproduces some non-trivial...

0af19744d7af14decabed93df00fc899
2010-10-15 08:35:00

Eastern marsh helleborine mimics aphid alarm pheromones to attract pollinators Even Darwin was a self-admitted orchid lover. Dictionaries describe orchids as exotic ornamentals. Indeed, these plants "“ more than 30000 different species are thought to exist "“ are exotic due their extraordinary and diverse flower morphology. However, they are also exotic from a point of view other than beauty: as crafty imposters in order to achieve reproduction and to make sure that their ovaries...

7382cd35edbb6847e4d4409da6611e5e1
2010-08-26 12:40:00

The evolutionary history of the Thaumoctopus mimicus lineage reveals the steps it took to become a master of disguise Paul the Octopus"”the eight-legged oracle who made international headlines with his amazingly accurate football forecasting"”isn't the only talented cephalopod in the sea. The Indonesian mimic octopus, which can impersonate flatfish and sea snakes to dupe potential predators, may well give Paul a run for his money when it comes to "see-worthy" skills. By creatively...

6d977f7ced9132c866c0054648a76022
2010-07-09 07:50:00

First experiments suggest that synchronous male flashing is more recognizable to females For decades, scientists have speculated about why some fireflies exhibit synchronous flashing, in which large groups produce rhythmic, repeated flashes in unison "“ sometimes lighting up a whole forest at once. Now, the first experiments on the function of this phenomenon suggest that synchronous flashing preserves female fireflies' recognition of suitable mates. The results are reported in the July...

691c49e9237569638d1b805c1b37d84a1
2010-05-31 09:05:06

Scientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colors found on the wings of tropical butterflies. The findings could have important applications in the security printing industry, helping to make bank notes and credit cards harder to forge. The striking iridescent colors displayed on beetles, butterflies and other insects have long fascinated both physicists and biologists, but mimicking nature's most colorful, eye-catching surfaces has proved elusive. This...

f2a9375eb261028fd70fd624786620cb
2010-03-04 08:10:00

Remarkable Strategy Evolved to Avoid Predators On the open sand plains of the Caribbean seafloor, where soft-bodied animals are routinely exposed to predators, camouflage can be key to survival. Perhaps no group of animals is quite as adept at blending in with its surroundings as cephalopods, who along with relatives the cuttlefish and squid, have evolved a unique skin system that can instantaneously change their appearance. In the February 2010 issue of The Biological Bulletin, MBL Senior...


Latest Mimicry Reference Libraries

39_5331cfef0f677884ac59235c1f903204
2007-02-25 21:04:29

Combtooth blennies are blennioids; perciform marine fish of the family Blenniidae. They are the largest family of blennies, with approximately 371 species in 53 genera represented. Combtooth blennies are found in tropical and subtropical waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans; some species are also found in brackish and even freshwater environments. Physical description The body plan of the Combtooth blennies is archetypal to all other blennioids; their blunt heads and eyes...

40_c79a9ae16083a994e518c081bf23855d
2005-09-08 11:25:28

Flower-flies (also known as hover-flies) are a family of flies (Diptera), with the scientific name of "Syrphidae". As their names suggests, they are most often seen around flowers. The adults feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In certain species, the larvae are saprophytes, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In others, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other...

40_8ce94a775a333fe9368766757b029404
2005-08-25 10:17:06

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a well-known North American butterfly with easily identifiable orange and black wings. The females have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot in the center of each hindwing from which pheromones are released. Monarchs are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. They make massive southward migrations from August through October. A northward migration takes place in the spring. During these migrations the females...

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