Journal article

Camouflage, communication and thermoregulation: lessons from colour changing organisms

Devi Stuart-Fox, Adnan Moussalli

PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES | ROYAL SOC | Published : 2009

Abstract

Organisms capable of rapid physiological colour change have become model taxa in the study of camouflage because they are able to respond dynamically to the changes in their visual environment. Here, we briefly review the ways in which studies of colour changing organisms have contributed to our understanding of camouflage and highlight some unique opportunities they present. First, from a proximate perspective, comparison of visual cues triggering camouflage responses and the visual perception mechanisms involved can provide insight into general visual processing rules. Second, colour changing animals can potentially tailor their camouflage response not only to different backgrounds but als..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Martin Stevens, Sami Merilaita, Mike Kearney and two anonymous reviewers for their critical comments. We are grateful to Adrian Armstrong, Bill Branch, Michael Cunningham, George Goode, David Hempson, Kate Henderson, Amanda Lane, Elton Larroux, Georgio Lombardi, Jerry Therron, Stephanie Ritter, Colin Tilbury, Krystal Tolley and Martin Whiting for their assistance. Permits: MPB. 5104 (Mpumalanga); 005-00001 (Limpopo); 1721/2003 and 4390/2005 (KwaZulu Natal); 234/2003 (Western Cape); and WRO 11/03 WR (Eastern Cape). Funding for this work was provided by the Claude Leon Foundation, National Research Foundation (NRF), UNESCO-L'Oreal and the Australian Research Council to D. S.-F. A. M. was supported by the Claude Leon and Ian Potter Foundations.