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The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes / W. L. Allen, R. Baddeley, N. E. Scott-Samuel, I. C. Cuthill, William Allen

Behavioral Ecology, Volume: 24, Issue: 5, Pages: 1237 - 1250

Swansea University Author: William Allen

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DOI (Published version): 10.1093/beheco/art058

Abstract

Species in the suborder Serpentes present a powerful model for understanding processes involved in visual signal design. Although vision is generally poor in snakes, they are often both predators and prey of visually oriented species. We examined how ecological and behavioral factors have driven the...

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Published in: Behavioral Ecology
Published: ISBE 2013
Online Access: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/5/1237.short
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa27997
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spelling 2016-06-10T14:01:28.3306821 v2 27997 2016-05-16 The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes d6f01dd06d25fa8804daad86e251b8a5 0000-0003-2654-0438 William Allen William Allen true false 2016-05-16 SBI Species in the suborder Serpentes present a powerful model for understanding processes involved in visual signal design. Although vision is generally poor in snakes, they are often both predators and prey of visually oriented species. We examined how ecological and behavioral factors have driven the evolution of snake patterning using a phylogenetic comparative approach. The appearances of 171 species of Australian and North American snakes were classified using a reaction-diffusion model of pattern development, the parameters of which allow parametric quantification of various aspects of coloration. The main findings include associations between plain color and an active hunting strategy, longitudinal stripes and rapid escape speed, blotched patterns with ambush hunting, slow movement and pungent cloacal defense, and spotted patterns with close proximity to cover. Expected associations between bright colors, aggressive behavior, and venom potency were not observed. The mechanisms through which plain and longitudinally striped patterns might support camouflage during movement are discussed. The flicker-fusion hypothesis for transverse striped patterns being perceived as uniform color during movement is evaluated as theoretically possible but unlikely. Snake pattern evolution is generally phylogenetically conservative, but by sampling densely in a wide variety of snake lineages, we have demonstrated that similar pattern phenotypes have evolved repeatedly in response to similar ecological demands. Journal Article Behavioral Ecology 24 5 1237 1250 ISBE 31 12 2013 2013-12-31 10.1093/beheco/art058 http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/5/1237.short COLLEGE NANME Biosciences COLLEGE CODE SBI Swansea University 2016-06-10T14:01:28.3306821 2016-05-16T09:58:58.8872532 College of Science Biosciences W. L. Allen 1 R. Baddeley 2 N. E. Scott-Samuel 3 I. C. Cuthill 4 William Allen 0000-0003-2654-0438 5
title The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes
spellingShingle The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes
William, Allen
title_short The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes
title_full The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes
title_fullStr The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes
title_full_unstemmed The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes
title_sort The evolution and function of pattern diversity in snakes
author_id_str_mv d6f01dd06d25fa8804daad86e251b8a5
author_id_fullname_str_mv d6f01dd06d25fa8804daad86e251b8a5_***_William, Allen
author William, Allen
author2 W. L. Allen
R. Baddeley
N. E. Scott-Samuel
I. C. Cuthill
William Allen
format Journal article
container_title Behavioral Ecology
container_volume 24
container_issue 5
container_start_page 1237
publishDate 2013
institution Swansea University
doi_str_mv 10.1093/beheco/art058
publisher ISBE
college_str College of Science
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hierarchy_top_title College of Science
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_parent_title College of Science
department_str Biosciences{{{_:::_}}}College of Science{{{_:::_}}}Biosciences
url http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/5/1237.short
document_store_str 0
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description Species in the suborder Serpentes present a powerful model for understanding processes involved in visual signal design. Although vision is generally poor in snakes, they are often both predators and prey of visually oriented species. We examined how ecological and behavioral factors have driven the evolution of snake patterning using a phylogenetic comparative approach. The appearances of 171 species of Australian and North American snakes were classified using a reaction-diffusion model of pattern development, the parameters of which allow parametric quantification of various aspects of coloration. The main findings include associations between plain color and an active hunting strategy, longitudinal stripes and rapid escape speed, blotched patterns with ambush hunting, slow movement and pungent cloacal defense, and spotted patterns with close proximity to cover. Expected associations between bright colors, aggressive behavior, and venom potency were not observed. The mechanisms through which plain and longitudinally striped patterns might support camouflage during movement are discussed. The flicker-fusion hypothesis for transverse striped patterns being perceived as uniform color during movement is evaluated as theoretically possible but unlikely. Snake pattern evolution is generally phylogenetically conservative, but by sampling densely in a wide variety of snake lineages, we have demonstrated that similar pattern phenotypes have evolved repeatedly in response to similar ecological demands.
published_date 2013-12-31T03:45:04Z
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