Document Detail

Bold coloration and the evolution of aposematism in terrestrial carnivores.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22023577     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Several species of terrestrial carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora) have bold contrasting color patterns that, in some species, apparently signal possession of noxious anal gland secretions, or even physical strength and great ferocity; yet the evolutionary drivers of both placement and patterning of these contrasting pelage colors on the body, and the ecological selection pressures underlying them, have yet to be systematically examined. Here we explore these issues and find not only that both boldly colored and dichromatic species do indeed often use anal gland secretions for defense, but also that such species are stockier, and live in more exposed habitats where other forms of antipredator defense are limited. We also show that white dorsa are found in sprayers that are primarily nocturnal; that horizontal stripes are found in species that have an ability to spray anal secretions accurately; and that facial stripes are found in burrowing species that typically leave only their heads exposed to attack. Our phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that aposematic coloration has evolved more than once in terrestrial carnivores. We finish by outlining five evolutionary routes for patterns of pelage coloration in this taxon.
Theodore Stankowich; Tim Caro; Matthew Cox
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-05-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  Evolution; international journal of organic evolution     Volume:  65     ISSN:  1558-5646     ISO Abbreviation:  Evolution     Publication Date:  2011 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373224     Medline TA:  Evolution     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3090-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003 Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 E-mail: Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology and Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, California 95616.
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