Camouflage accuracy in Sahara-Sahel desert rodents
Nokelainen, O., Brito, J. C., Scott-Samuel, N. E., Valkonen, J., & Boratyński, Z. (2020). Camouflage accuracy in Sahara-Sahel desert rodents. Journal of Animal Ecology, 89(7), 1658-1669. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13225
Published inJournal of Animal Ecology
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologiaEvoluutiotutkimus (huippuyksikkö)Biologisten vuorovaikutusten huippututkimusyksikköEcology and Evolutionary BiologyCentre of Excellence in Evolutionary ResearchCentre of Excellence in Biological Interactions Research
© 2020 Wiley-Blackwell
1.Camouflage helps animals to hide from predators and is therefore key to survival. Although widespread convergence of animal phenotypes to their natural environment is well established, there is a lack of knowledge about how species compromise camouflage accuracy across different background types in their habitat. 2.Here we tested how background matching has responded to top‐down selection by avian and mammalian predators using Sahara‐Sahel desert rodents in North Africa. 3.We show that the fur coloration of several species has become an accurate match to different types of desert habitats. This is supported by a correlation analysis of colour and pattern metrics, investigation of animal‐to‐background similarities at different spatial scales, and is confirmed by modelling of two predator vision systems. 4.The background match was closest across large (or global) spatial scales, suggesting a generalist camouflage tactic for many background types. Some species, may have a better match to the background over small (or focal) spatial scales, which could be the result of habitat choices or differential predation. Nevertheless, predicted discrimination distances of fur coloration were virtually indistinguishable for mammalian and low for avian vision model, which implies effective camouflage. 5.Our study provides one of the best documented cases of multilevel camouflage accuracy in geographically widespread taxa. We conclude that background matching has become an effective and common adaptation against predatory threat in Sahara‐Sahelian desert rodents. ...
Dataset(s) related to the publicationhttp://dx.doi.org/10.17011/jyx/dataset/68155
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Postdoctoral Researcher, AoF
Additional information about fundingON was funded by the Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Research Fellow grant (#21000038821). ZB was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (PTDC/BIAECO/28158/2017, SFRH/BPD/84822/2012) and National Geographic society (GEFNE53-12).
Showing items with similar title or keywords.
Nokelainen, Ossi; Sreelatha, Lekshmi B.; Brito, José Carlos; Campos, João C.; Scott-Samuel, Nicholas E.; Valkonen, Janne K.; Boratyński, Zbyszek (Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 2020)Deserts and semi-deserts, such as the Sahara-Sahel region in North Africa, are exposed environments with restricted vegetation coverage. Due to limited physical surface structures, these open areas provide a promising ...
Nokelainen, Ossi; Brito, José Carlos; Scott-Samuel, Nicholas E.; Valkonen, Janne K.; Boratyński, Zbyszek (University of Jyväskylä, Open Science Centre. firstname.lastname@example.org, 2020)
Macedo, Tiago; Campos, João Carlos; Nokelainen, Ossi; Scott-Samuel, Nicholas E; Boratyński, Zbyszek (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2022)Background matching, a common form of camouflage, is a widespread anti-predator adaptation that hinders detection or recognition by increasing the resemblance of prey to its environment. However, the natural environment ...
Boratynski, Zbyszek; Brito, José C.; Campos, João C.; Cunha, José L.; Granjon, Laurent; Mappes, Tapio; Ndiaye, Arame; Rzebik-Kowalska, Barbara; Serén, Nina (Nature Publishing Group, 2017)There are two main factors explaining variation among species and the evolution of characters along phylogeny: adaptive change, including phenotypic and genetic responses to selective pressures, and phylogenetic inertia, ...
The Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) has an effective camouflage against mammalian but not avian vision in boreal forests Nokelainen, Ossi; Helle, Heikki; Hartikka, Juho; Jolkkonen, Juho; Valkonen, Janne K. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2022)A well-known example of visual camouflage in birds is the plumage coloration of the Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris, yet this species’ camouflage has never been objectively quantified. Here, we quantify treecreeper ...