The key role of behaviour in animal camouflage
MetadataShow full item record
Animal camouflage represents one of the most important ways of preventing (or facilitating) predation. It attracted the attention of the earliest evolutionary biologists, and today remains a focus of investigation in areas ranging from evolutionary ecology, animal decision‐making, optimal strategies, visual psychology, computer science, to materials science. Most work focuses on the role of animal morphology per se, and its interactions with the background in affecting detection and recognition. However, the behaviour of organisms is likely to be crucial in affecting camouflage too, through background choice, body orientation and positioning; and strategies of camouflage that require movement. A wealth of potential mechanisms may affect such behaviours, from imprinting and self‐assessment to genetics, and operate at several levels (species, morph, and individual). Over many years there have been numerous studies investigating the role of behaviour in camouflage, but to date, no effort to synthesise these studies and ideas into a coherent framework. Here, we review key work on behaviour and camouflage, highlight the mechanisms involved and implications of behaviour, discuss the importance of this in a changing world, and offer suggestions for addressing the many important gaps in our understanding of this subject.
Stevens , M & Ruxton , G D 2018 , ' The key role of behaviour in animal camouflage ' , Biological Reviews , vol. Early View . https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12438
© 2018 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionM.S. was funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grants BB/J018309/1 and BB/L017709/1.
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.