Self-Protective Mechanisms

  • Giovanni Costa
Part of the Adaptations of Desert Organisms book series (DESERT ORGAN.)


All the behavioural patterns that preserve animals from environmental challenges should be included in this chapter. Many of these, however, have already been described in the preceding chapter. Therefore, only the ethological mechanisms which maximize protection from predators will be treated. This can be achieved by several strategies, in which morphological and behavioural features concur. Various expressions have been employed by students of animal behaviour to describe them. Not surprisingly, therefore, a certain confusion of terms exists. Expressions such mimicry, protective resemblance, camouflage, masking, homochromy, concealment, crypsis, adaptive colouration, protective colouration, etc. are not always used correctly (Cloudsley-Thompson 1986). Therefore, I will give my own opinion on this matter.


Coral Snake Batesian Mimicry Striped Hyena Body Colouration False Head 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia AnimaleUniversità di CataniaCataniaItaly

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