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Why are warning displays multimodal?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Candy Rowe, Dr Christina Halpin


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Multimodal warning displays are commonplace, with prey combining conspicuous coloration, sounds, odours and other chemical emissions to deter predators. These components have been relatively well-studied in isolation from one another, but we still lack a good understanding of why so many warning displays are multimodal. In this review, we evaluate the different hypotheses put forward to explain the evolution of multimodal warning displays, and consider how different components interact and co-evolve. Our review highlights that whilst multimodal warning displays are well-documented, we lack a good understanding of their function in natural predator-prey systems.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rowe C, Halpin CG

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

Year: 2013

Volume: 67

Issue: 9

Pages: 1425-1439

Print publication date: 01/09/2013

Online publication date: 27/03/2013

Acceptance date: 01/03/2013

ISSN (print): 0340-5443

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0762


DOI: 10.1007/s00265-013-1515-8