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Biol Lett. 2008 Aug 23;4(4):326-9. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0173.

Predator-specific camouflage in chameleons.

Author information

1
School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa. devis@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

A crucial problem for most animals is how to deal with multiple types of predator, which differ in their sensory capabilities and methods of prey detection. For animals capable of rapid colour change, one potential strategy is to change their appearance in relation to the threat posed by different predators. Here, we show that the dwarf chameleon, Bradypodion taeniabronchum, exhibits different colour responses to two predators that differ in their visual capabilities. Using a model of animal colour perception to gain a 'predator's eye view', we show that chameleons showed better background colour matching in response to birds than snakes, yet they appear significantly more camouflaged to the snake visual system because snakes have poorer colour discrimination.

PMID:
18492645
PMCID:
PMC2610148
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2008.0173
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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