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Avoiding AttackThe Evolutionary Ecology of Crypsis, Warning Signals and Mimicry$
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Graeme D. Ruxton, Tom N. Sherratt, and Michael P. Speed

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198528609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198528609.001.0001

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Deflection and startling of predators

Deflection and startling of predators

Chapter:
(p.183) CHAPTER 13 Deflection and startling of predators
Source:
Avoiding Attack
Author(s):

Graeme D. Ruxton

Thomas N. Sherratt

Michael P. Speed

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198528609.003.0014

Prey sometimes have conspicuous marking on specific parts of their body that are considered to deflect the point of predatory attack towards defended or expendable parts of the body. Other signals are generally hidden, but can be revealed suddenly and startle the predator, causing it to desist from attack or at least pause long enough to increase the likelihood of prey escape. This chapter examines the logical basis for such signals and the empirical evidence for them.

Keywords:   tonic immobility, distraction displays, startling displays, deflective displays, eyespots

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