Gazelle-like antelopes as living flags

Gazelle-like antelopes as living flags

Colouration seeks no camouflage where it advertises safety in numbers.

More...
Perverse exercise for the growing pelican

Perverse exercise for the growing pelican

An exceptional wingspan made resilient by violent nurturing.

More...
Why do mangroves lack fruity succulence?

Why do mangroves lack fruity succulence?

Potassium, the mineral of fruit-juice, can be unaffordable for mere seed-wrappings.

More...
Warning colouration in the giant panda

Warning colouration in the giant panda

The most checkered of bears is the least likely to be worth attacking naively.

More...
The marsupial lion: all slice and no bite

The marsupial lion: all slice and no bite

Unsheath the hidden weapon of an Australian carnivore with desultory canines.

More...
Supermoles despite being marsupial moles

Supermoles despite being marsupial moles

Notoryctids are primitively pouched but at the cutting-edge in other aspects.

More...
Who chose the eyespots on the peacock?

Who chose the eyespots on the peacock?

Peahens were less likely than human protectors to select for these false eyes.

More...
A continent mysteriously empty of tortoises

A continent mysteriously empty of tortoises

Land tortoises failed in Australia not by historical accident but by poor ecological prospects.

More...
Seeing the light for the trees

Seeing the light for the trees

Height of woodlands and savannas is aimed at resources scarcer than sunshine.

More...
How beavers engineered landscapes for bison

How beavers engineered landscapes for bison

Tree-felling, ponding, and silt-damming all eventually produce big grazing.

More...
Trees as green quazi-zombies

Trees as green quazi-zombies

Ponder the resources that really matter under the shade of the energetic living dead.

More...
The hidden power of sea snakes over eels

The hidden power of sea snakes over eels

Why eels can’t defend themselves from being engulfed by sea snakes.

More...
Time did not limit evolution in Zealandia

Time did not limit evolution in Zealandia

Why these are the largest islands without native terrestrial mammals.

More...
Kiwi were no solution to a mammalian vacuum

Kiwi were no solution to a mammalian vacuum

These birds are more far-fetched that even the least likely of furred imposters.

More...
Why external ears are redundant in birds

Why external ears are redundant in birds

A streamlined head is only part of the explanation why birds avoid using external pinnae to locate sounds.

More...
Why elephants defecate wantonly

Why elephants defecate wantonly

Megaherbivore digestion seems inefficient until its cream-skimming tactic is recognised.

More...
What is the real value of a kidney?

What is the real value of a kidney?

There must be good reason why the kidney is twice as energy-intensive as the brain or liver, making it the…

More...
Are birds really avian dinosaurs?

Are birds really avian dinosaurs?

Birds originated from dinosaurs, but equating them with dinosaurs falls off a logical tightrope.

More...
A new vitamin hiding in plain light

A new vitamin hiding in plain light

 Food beliefs have fallen on the buttered side

More...
D stands for delete as vitamin

D stands for delete as vitamin

Calciferol, vital but not vitamin

More...
Coital fanging in a giant cartilaginous fish

Coital fanging in a giant cartilaginous fish

A plankton-siever with only the rudest of Jaws.

More...
Does rickets show clinical deficiency of boron?

Does rickets show clinical deficiency of boron?

Hormonal ossification is elementary.

More...
What lies behind the kidney’s iron curtain?

What lies behind the kidney’s iron curtain?

Where the body ‘earths’ its electrons.

More...
An explanation for sexual skew in the priapiumfish

An explanation for sexual skew in the priapiumfish

Why micro-meta-genitals evolved in fishes.

More...
Can any true bambi weather a desert?

Can any true bambi weather a desert?

What it takes to drought-proof 3-centimetre hooves.

More...
Archaeopteryx is neither a first bird nor a bird in the first place

Archaeopteryx is neither a first bird nor a bird in the first place

The concept "archaeopteryx is a bird" is a dinosaur 

More...
Plumosaurs flew as dinosaurs, not as proto-birds

Plumosaurs flew as dinosaurs, not as proto-birds

Looking past the plumage to see the tell-tale tails.

More...
Fat mephitids not allowed in the Old World

Fat mephitids not allowed in the Old World

A black-and-white case of evolutionary skullduggery?

More...
Authentic mega-killers kept their mouths shut

Authentic mega-killers kept their mouths shut

The mythical snarl of dental sabres

More...
The paradox of the fire-loving crayfishes

The paradox of the fire-loving crayfishes

Building a life on wet combustion.

More...
A thumbs-up on amphibians

A thumbs-up on amphibians

The human hand as living fossil.

More...
The riddle of the failed frogs of Gondwana

The riddle of the failed frogs of Gondwana

Zealandic amphibians are a damp squib.

More...
Why no southern salamanders?

Why no southern salamanders?

The evolutionary compass of amphibian tails.

More...
Frogs are more dexterous than lizards

Frogs are more dexterous than lizards

The simplest frog is more manipulative than the cleverest lizard.

More...
 Frogs' tails hiding in plain sight

Frogs' tails hiding in plain sight

De-tailed amphibians conceal a hiptail of unknown potential.

More...
The dagger looks of golden toads

The dagger looks of golden toads

Black eyes can be poisonous exclamations in orange frogs.

More...
The giant panda as a sinister signboard

The giant panda as a sinister signboard

A black and white warning of dangerous teeth

More...
Arboreal reflections of amphibian eyes

Arboreal reflections of amphibian eyes

The bulging eyes of water and tree frogs differ more than they look.

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2012 JoomlaWorks Ltd.
Bio-bullets

The dagger looks of golden toads

Black eyes can be poisonous exclamations in orange frogs.

professor caricatureProf. Mumblebard claims: “Most species of frogs have prominent eyes. Despite this, frogs avoid using their eyes for communication – with ocular social signalling being rare, and the staring down of would-be predators being unknown. Indeed, even conspicuous frogs with warning colouration obscure their eyes with{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} longitudinal bands of pigment on the iris and facial skin. The only species of frogs known to use quasi-ocular signals are those that attempt to confuse predators by means of false eyespots on the hindquarters which draw attention away from the vulnerable head.”{!njaccess}… See the hidden half of Prof. Mumblebard’s claim by subscribing here {/njaccess}

logoRobin and the Honey Badger respond: “It’s true that most animals using garish colouration to warn predators of their toxicity tend to hide their eyes despite the extreme conspicuousness of their whole bodies. This certainly applies to frogs. However, various lineages of ‘toxic golden frogs’ are significant exceptions, with certain small species displaying an odd pattern of warning colouration: strikingly dark eyes that punctuate the uniformly orange skin. In all these independently evolved species, the eyes are darker than any other part of the body. Although the golden poison frog is the most frequently photographed example, a similar pattern of accentuation of the eyes can be seen in the granular poison frogpumpkin toadlet, golden mantellayellow harlequin frog and scarlet harlequin toad. In the case of the pumpkin toadlet, the small body{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} may be easily overlooked despite its lurid colour, helping to explain the extraordinary anti-predator behaviours of this species, namely waving of the hands across the black eyes and alarm-vocalising even before being touched. The previously overlooked ocular displays in these four families and five genera of ‘toxic golden frogs’ differ from the false eyespots previously recorded in other frogs in that they send honest, not deceptive, messages to would-be predators. Furthermore, a converse pattern of colouration has arisen in several families of sexually dimorphic frogs. In these species, one sex turns vivid orange during the breeding season while the other sex remains camouflaged. What is revealing in the conspicuous sex is that the eye is not particularly accentuated, because the main function of self-advertisement is sexual attraction rather than the repulsion of potential predators. In summary, what has not been fully appreciated by biologists is that sexually monomorphic ‘toxic golden frogs’ are exceptional among frogs – with a colouration pattern that has evolved repeatedly – in displaying their real eyes to intimidate predators.”{!njaccess}… Reveal the hidden half of this response by Robin and the Honey Badger by subscribing here{/njaccess}

Please join us here at the Bio-edge with your own comments. In the discussion below we encourage links to any evidence supporting either Prof. Mumblebard or Robin and the Honey Badger. Illustrations are welcome but please cite all sources or we may be forced under copyright to delete your comment.

 

Last modified on 15 July 2015

You have no rights to post comments