Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Müllerian Mimicry

  • Dirleane O. RossatoEmail author
  • Lucas A. Kaminski
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_687-1

Synonyms

Definition

A convergent pattern of morphological and/or behavioral traits in organisms that signal aposematism for predators.

Introduction

Predators exert strong selective pressures on prey, therefore shaping their defensive strategies. According to the theory of optimal foraging, predators tend to maximize their energy absorption per unit of time. During the first step of the assessment phase of a potential prey, the predator needs to distinguish palatable and easy prey from unpalatable, dangerous or difficult to capture prey (Fig. 1). A naive predator trying the unpalatable prey (Step 1, Fig. 1). The decision to attack or not depends on the animal’s cognition through instinctual behavior (innate) and/or previous experiences (learning). These decisions must be made quickly and accurately, as mistakes can result in high costs including unpleasant experiences, injuries or even death. On the next attempt, the experienced predator starts to avoid...
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EcologyUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Departament of ZoologyUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Caroline Leuchtenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Institute FarroupilhaPanambiBrasil