Paper Published on Flash Behavior Featured as "Editor's Choice"

Posted: 05.16.2018

Some well camouflaged species become very conspicuous when they flee by showing bright colors, but on arrival become inconspicuous again (think of rabbits and locusts). Why should an animal seek to draw attention to itself during flight? Tim Caro, along with colleagues in Canada and South Korea, challenged students to catch (mouse click) artificial prey moving across computer screens and found that they were 20% more difficult to locate following flashing than if they had remained inconspicuous in flight. This this the first proof of concept that flash behavior hinders subsequent detection, an idea floated for decades but never tested. Likely, conspicuous flash markings cause predators to search for the wrong thing - another incredible animal defense mechanism!