31 Jul '16, 2am

How lizards use clever coloring to deceive predators

How lizards use clever coloring to deceive predators

The beautiful five-lined skink has a blue tail that's truly eye-catching. And that's on purpose. Predators notice the colorful tail as well. When they grab the tail, the skink can detach it and escape. The wily lizard lives to regrow its tail again. New research shows that not only is the bright blue tail part of a survival strategy, but so too are the noticeable stripes running down the skink's sides. Gopal Murali, an evolutionary biologist at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, created a set of experiments to test how well a predator (and in this case, the predator being a group of graduate students) can judge the speed at which a striped lizard is moving. Using a computer game for the test, students had to click on a lizard's front half when it was moving. When the front half of a lizard had stripes, the students were 25 percent l...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/how-lizard...

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