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Author Topic:   Camouflage
tubi417
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 4 (121675)
07-03-2004 10:23 PM


One of the things that I do not understand about evolution is how animals have evolved so that they can blend into their surroundings with camouflage. It doesn't make sense that certain bugs would have random mutations that would make them look like a leaf or other bugs that resemble twigs. These insects resemble leaves or twigs with such great detail. How could mutations create this detail? There would have to be many many mutations and they would have to happen A LOT...but mutations are very rare- so I find this hard to believe.

Furthermore, if some bug just randomly mutated to the color green, then how come we still don't observe bugs randomly mutating and having different colored bodies?


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AdminNosy
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From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Message 2 of 4 (121774)
07-04-2004 3:30 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
NosyNed
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Posts: 8968
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 3 of 4 (121776)
07-04-2004 4:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by tubi417
07-03-2004 10:23 PM


Surprising question
One of the things that I do not understand about evolution is how animals have evolved so that they can blend into their surroundings with camouflage.

I find this a surprising question. At the general level isn't it obvious? If there are a few bejillion individuals of a particular "bug" species in the jungle and some of them are, in any way, harder to find to eat. Those are the ones more likely to "make it" to reproduce. They don't have to look like a leaf or twig they simply have to be a little harder to pick out than the others. They can be harder to pick out in a large number of different ways. There are in each generation one heck of a lot of bugs. There are one or several generations a year.

It doesn't make sense that certain bugs would have random mutations that would make them look like a leaf or other bugs that resemble twigs.

Of course it doesn't make sense. There aren't going to be any random mutaions that make a bug look like a leaf or twig.

There are, however, going to be mutations that make a bug look a tiny bit more like a leaf or twig or anyone of a number of other possibly successful camouflages

These insects resemble leaves or twigs with such great detail. How could mutations create this detail? There would have to be many many mutations and they would have to happen A LOT...but mutations are very rare- so I find this hard to believe.

Bzzzzz wrong! Mutations are not rare. You have some, I have some. I'm guessing that each of those bejillion bugs as one or two.

The detail is created in the same way I might be able to draw a very good sketch of a tree (and I'm not all that good). I draw tree pictures. I pick the one that looks a fair bit like the tree in question. I reproduce it and make little changes to the different copies. I pick the few that are closer to the tree. I keep doing this and I am guarenteed to reproduce the tree image very, very exactly.

If you want to gamble and win a million dollars. You don't have to do it in one big lump. If you play even money on coin flips and always pick heads with a coin just ever so slighty biased to heads. Let's say biased so that the expected outcome is 501 heads in 1,000 throws instead of 500.

Play long enough and you are guareentied to get your million.

One way to accomplish the same thing is have someone watching and, if a tail comes up, have them grab the coin and "disappear it" so you have to flip again. If this is done just once in a rare while you will win your million if you play long enough.

Mutations happen all the time. Natural selection "disappears" any that don't do quiet well enough. The coin is biased.

Once a bug starts down a path of mimicing something and the minor degree of mimicing is every so slighty successfull then it has a clear path to keep moving to greater success.

The trick is how to start down the path. I don't see it as gettng the detial at the end. The detail is going to be taken care of in a "good enough" fashion. The getting the process started I see as being a bit harder.

This message has been edited by NosyNed, 07-04-2004 03:01 AM


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RAZD
Member (Idle past 634 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 4 of 4 (122254)
07-05-2004 9:14 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by NosyNed
07-04-2004 4:00 AM


viceroy, monarch and queen butterflies
The viceroy butterfly is another example of camouflage at work, it will mimic either the monarch or the queen butterfly when in those areas. the monarch and the queen are related, but the queen does not migrate and the monarch does (a migration route requiring alternate generations to complete).


enature.com: Monarch Butterfly (click)


enature.com: Viceroy Butterfly (click)


enature.com: Queen Butterfly (click)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
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