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What animal or animals use its/their color to attract attention?
Question Date: 2016-10-06
Answer 1:

Thank you for the fascinating question! A scientist named Charles Darwin explained that animals are adapted to their environment, that animals are designed to survive and fit in with where they live. Sometimes having bright, noticeable colors help animals survive and communicate with each other – this is called signaling.

One famous case is the peacock, which has that huge and colorful tail. The female peahens are attracted to the males with the brightest and most colorful tails – so the peacock uses its colors to attract mates. This is the case for many different animals: the males are often more colorful in an attempt to get attention from females.

Other animals use their colors as a warning, which is called aposematism. They want to attract attention to let other animals know where they are and that you wouldn’t want to mess with them. Bees, for example, have those distinctive black and yellow stripes that can really get your attention. The bee is using its colors to let other animals where it is and that you probably should stay away because it can sting you. Lots of dangerous animals have warning coloration, including snakes and even the white stripes on a skunk!

Something really interesting has come about because of warning coloration. Because animals have come to associate these bright colors with danger and stay away, some non-dangerous animals have evolved the same colors in an attempt to mimic how dangerous animals look. In this way animals can be left alone without actually being dangerous.

These are just a few of the ways that animals that use color to attract or to ward off other animals. So when you see a brightly colored creature, imagine what the function of that coloration might be: Is it to attract others? Is it to avoid predators? Is it really dangerous or pretending to be?

Thanks again for the wonderful question,

Answer 2:

Lots of animals, anything that stands out. This means a lot of insects (e.g. butterflies), birds (e.g. blue jays, anything brightly colored), fish (brightly-colored fish), and many, many others.

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