Researchers Solve Darwin’s Copycat Evolution Puzzle
Species of snakes, spiders and butterflies have all evolved to look like other species to ward off predators. But one of the great mysteries in biology is that most of this copy-cat behavior is not very good, and bad impersonators seem just as abundant as the good ones. A simplistic interpretation of Darwin’s theory of natural selection would suggest that it would be better for all mimics to closely resemble the species they are trying to impersonate.
The answer, according to a team of Canadian scientists, is that larger animals make for more substantial meals, and so their mimicry needs to be spot on. For small prey, a great performance is not so essential.