Aposematism

Aposematism is literally warning signaling, an adaptation of dangerous or toxic organisms which helps them to avoid predation. The fitness of the potential predator is also enhanced since the recognition of the noxious prey item saves that predator from harm. Prominent examples of animals displaying aposematism are bumblebees and coral snakes. While both groups of animals are famous for their warning coloration, bumblebees also use a distinctive sound to broadcast their danger. Other sensory modalities may be employed also: the striped skunk has a whole ensemble of activities to ward off predation; their markings are obvious (even under low-light conditions), but additionally they display an unusual body posture and leg movements during moments of threat. Animals with warning signaling rarely flee rapidly when encountering predators and are sometimes found in large aggregations or even in societies. Aposematism is in contrast with crypsis, or those adaptations helping to conceal a prey item. See also Batesian mimicry and Mullerian mimicry as well as kin selection.

Glossary

Citation

Evans, D. (2009). Aposematism. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/150143

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