HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Poison dart frog mimics gain when birds learn to stay away

AUSTIN, Texas--Studying neotropical poison dart frogs, biologists at the University of Texas at Austin uncovered a new way that the frog species can evolve to look similar, and it hinges on the way predators learn to avoid the toxic, brightly colored amphibians.

In the Mar. 8 issue of Nature, Catherine Darst and Molly Cummings show that a harmless, colorful frog living in the Amazonian rainforest gets protected from predators not by mimicking its most poisonous neighbor, but by looking like a frog who's poison packs less punch.

The Texas biologists studied three species of poison dart frogs--one highly toxic species, one less toxic species and one harmless species. All live in the same area and are brightly colored, which warns predators that they may be poisonous.

In a series of predator learning experiments, the researchers found that the frogs' predators--in this case birds--learned to avoid anything remotely resembling the most toxic species.

"What we found is that predators are using stimulus generalization, which is a really old psychology theory," says Darst, graduate student in integrative biology. "When they learned on the more toxic frog, they generalized."

The harmless frogs can look like the less toxic poison frogs without losing any protection from predators.

The result is surprising, because mimicry theory predicts that when all three frogs occur in the same forest, the mimics would look like the more toxic frog species, the more abundant of the toxic frogs, or look like both the more and less toxic species.

"We've uncovered a new mechanism involved in mimicry processes," says Cummings, assistant professor of integrative biology. "A mimic species can actually become a different color pattern if it can enjoy the protection of the predator generalization brought on by more toxic species in the community."

Taking predator avoidance learning into account, says Cummings, you can successfully
'"/>

Contact: Lee Clippard
lclippard@mail.utexas.edu
512-232-0675
University of Texas at Austin
8-Mar-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Poison + water = hydrogen. New microbial genome shows how
2. Carbon monoxide: Poison gas or anti-inflammatory drug?
3. Poison digs its own grave
4. Poisoning solved after millions of years
5. Synthetic adhesive mimics sticking powers of gecko and mussel
6. Semiconductor membrane mimics biological behavior of ion channels
7. New mouse model closely mimics human cancers
8. Researchers create artificial enzyme that mimics the bodys internal engine
9. Mouse mimics chronic leukemia, will aid drug development
10. Finally, JAP study shows headdown bedrest precisely mimics human physiology in spaceflight
11. Engineered mouse mimics cognitive aspects of schizophrenia

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: