Revealing Coloration



Revealing Coloration

Many animals use coloration to protect themselves from predators. One defensive strategy involving the use of coloration is what is known as revealing coloration. Animals employing this strategy have an area of bright color on some part of their body; this bright color is usually hidden from predators' view. When approached by a predator, the animal suddenly reveals the area of bright color; this unexpected display of color startles or confuses the predator and provides the would-be prey with an opportunity to escape.

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    <-NARRATOR:-> Now listen to part of a lecture from a biology class.
    <-MALE PROFESSOR:-> There is a large tropical insect called the Peanut Bug, yes like the peanuts that you eat.
    Um and the peanut bug's front wings are colored so that they blend in with their surroundings.
    But its back wings, which are usually closed and hidden, have these bright colorful spots on them and when the peanut bug's attacked, it suddenly opens its back wings and out pop these big bright colors.
    And that surprises the predator and gives the peanut bug a chance to get away.
    Um and then you have a butterfly called the morpho Butterfly, and parts of the morpho butterfly's wings are very shiny.
    They reflect a lot of sunlight.
    When this butterfly is resting, this shiny part of its wings is hidden.
    Now morpho butterflies are often attacked by birds.
    So when a bird approaches, the morpho flies away.
    And when the morph flaps its wings, all the bird can see are flashes of light reflected from the morpho's wings.
    Those flashes of light make it very difficult for the bird to follow the morpho, and the morpho is usually able to get away.


Using the examples of the peanut bug and the morpho butterfly, explain the concept of revealing coloration.


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