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Ponente Dr. Martin Stevens (University of Exeter)
TítuloUnderstanding Animal Camouflage - Lessons from Birds and Crabs
LugarSala de Actos CABIMER
ResumenCamouflage is one of the most widespread anti-predator defences in nature, and a textbook example of natural selection. In recent years there has been a substantial increase in the amount of work testing camouflage theory, focusing on the types of camouflage that exist and how they may work to defeat predator vision. However, despite substantial progress, most work has been done in artificial systems or with theoretical models, rather than with real animals in complex natural habitats. Here, I will discuss recent work we have done to test camouflage theory in two main systems: several species of ground nesting birds in Africa (mostly plovers and nightjars) and highly polymorphic shore crabs in the UK. I will describe work we have done to test the different types of camouflage that exist in these species and across different habitats, and how the level of individual camouflage affects the probability of predation over time. Next, I will discuss some of the mechanisms that individuals can use to improve camouflage, including behavioural choice of backgrounds and colour change. I will finish by outlining where these and other projects can go next to understand the evolution of camouflage and individual variation.

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