types, that disruptive selection can lead to divergence and even speciation because intermediate forms match neither substrate effectively and are selected against . Interestingly, parasitic cuckoos show higher rates of speciation than non-parasitic species , and this may occur if different host races no longer interbreed if this breaks up sophisticated egg mimicry and other host species-specific specializations. Such processes could start to arise in ground nesting birds too if individuals start to specialize on particular distinct microhabitats. Clearly, camouflage is much more than simply a wonderful example of evolution; it can tell us a great deal about the optimization of phenotype and behaviour, macro-and micro-evolutionary processes, and mechanisms such as molecular biology and visual perception. References 1. Stevens, M., and Merilaita, S. (2009). Introduction. Animal camouflage: current issues and new perspectives. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 364, 423–427. 2. Wallace, A.R. (1889). Darwinism. An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection With Some of its Applications (London: Macmillan & Co). 3. Cook, L.M., Grant, B.S., Saccheri, I.J., and Mallet, J. (2012). Selective bird predation on the peppered moth: the last experiment of Michael Majerus. Biol. Lett. 8, 609–612. 4. Kettlewell, H.B.D. (1955). Selection experiments on industrial melanism in the Lepidoptera. Heredity 9, 323–342. 5. Cuthill, I.C., Stevens, M., Sheppard, J., Maddocks, T., Pá rraga, C.A., and Troscianko, T.S. (2005). Disruptive coloration and background pattern matching. Nature 434, 72–74. 6. Rowland, H.M., Speed, M.P., Ruxton, G.D., Edmunds, M., Stevens, M., and Harvey, I.F. (2007). Countershading enhances cryptic protection: an experiment with wild birds and artificial prey. Anim. Behav. 74, 1249–1258. 7. Skelhorn, J., Rowland, H.M., Speed, M.P., and Ruxton, G.D. (2010).A. (2013). Egg-laying substrate selection for optimal camouflage by quail. Curr. Biol. 23, 260–264. 12. Stevens, M., and Merilaita, S. (2009). Defining disruptive coloration and distinguishing its functions. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 364, 481–488.
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