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Roamer
Post  Post subject: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:49 am

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What's are possible explaination for the association between bright colours and the venomousness of a creature?


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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:54 am

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A warning...

Once a predator has eaten one bright coloured thing that didn't taste nice it won't do it again! This is so successful some non-venomous animals have evolved to look like the bright venomous ones to take advantage of it so they are left alone by predators.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:53 pm
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Further, venom often takes a LOT of energy to produce. Much better to save your ammo... keep a store of it... and get most threats to move away WITHOUT having to use than to spend it on every passerby...

Interesting side effect is what PhDemon mentions above. Non-venomous organisms will often evolve colors that mimic the venomous ones since predators and threats generally learn to avoid those colors. The colors themselves become a "proxy" for the venom and often allows the same outcome without all of the energy investment in venom production.

Nature... ain't she lovely? 8-)

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Roamer
Post  Post subject: Re: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:14 pm

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I'm looking for the evolution explaination for this association.
e.g. The venom-producing genes is the same genes that gives them the bright colors.
e.g. The venom-producing genes prevent the development of dull-colored skin.

Why is bright color = danger?


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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:22 pm

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It is accidental (as so much else in evolution is - it is only cretinists and IDiots attempting to justify a "designer" who don't appreciate this). There may be no link at all between the genes for colour and genes for venom, except they both occur in the same animal. As I said earlier, even non-venomous animals have evolved to mimic the bright colours...

The bright colour=danger thing is what predators have found from experience, bright coloured prey sometimes tastes nasty, so they avoid eating them


The basic idea is that venomous animals that happened (by random variation) to be more brightly coloured than their neighbours are more likely to be left alone by predators who have eaten them in the past and found them nasty, these genes for colour are passed on whereas dull venomous animals are not as easily spotted as a "nasty" and are eaten making the passing on of their genes less likely. It could just as easily have been something else other than bright colour but as predators tend to have good eyesight it is colour that has been selected for via natural selection. Non-venomous animals that look like the "nasties" are less likely to be eaten than ones that don't look like the "nasties" so if a non-venomous animal as a result of natural variation looks a bit like a "nasty" it is more likely to pass on it's genes so bright colour can also be selected for in the non-venomous animals.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:39 pm
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Roamer wrote:
I'm looking for the evolution explaination for this association.
e.g. The venom-producing genes is the same genes that gives them the bright colors.
e.g. The venom-producing genes prevent the development of dull-colored skin.

Why is bright color = danger?


Maybe after a predator had a nasty experience it might start to think that anything brightly coloured might fall in the same category - that's happening in real life, and is not really evolution

however, what is evolution is that bad tasting animals can get away with being conspicuous, so for them there is no penalty for not blending in, whereas for other tasty morsels, bring conspicuous makes it more likely they'll get eaten, hence natural selection will weed out conspicuous members of a non-poisonous species, leaving only the bland ones, whereas it won't weed out poisonous species where the penalty only amounts to the occasional fatality which immediately makes the rest of the species safe from further predation

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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:24 am
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The principle's at work in more than just poison/colour. Most animals have markings or signals to plainly indicate what they are to other species. Skunks are a good example. No animal is born with instinct to avoid skunks. But many learn not to hassle animals with the characteristic skunk markings. This is a win-win arrangement.

Humans do (did) likewise. Our bipedal stance makes us very easy to identify, as say, a distant silhouette observed by a wolf. We have a projectile "sting" - well-aimed rocks or bullets - that teaches animals to keep their distance. Thus where humans lived in frequent contact with animals, those learned to respect our characteristic appearance. Why a scarecrow works (or, used to work).

There's a jungle moth that has the pattern of a human face on its back. Turns out it's actually a monkey's face - the local birds have learned to avoid those monkeys, so when they see that face it spooks them. And the moth doesn't get eaten. Dishonest, and we're no different when we mount a plastic replica of owl or raptor to deter pigeons. It makes me wonder that nothing tries to mimic us. Like, I dunno, a raven that can make the noise of a chainsaw.


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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:26 am

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Pong wrote:
, a raven that can make the noise of a chainsaw.


Not a raven, but the lyrebird can!

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/vid ... b-lyrebird

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Association between bright colours and venomousness.  |  Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:42 am
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Pong wrote:
It makes me wonder that nothing tries to mimic us. Like, I dunno, a raven that can make the noise of a chainsaw.

There was Hoover the Harbor seal who could mimic human speech. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_(seal)

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