Arran Frood from the BBSRC (our main funders) has made a lovely 13 minute video about our joint field research in Zambia and South Africa with Exeter University’s Sensory Ecology and Evolution Group on the evolution of egg camouflage, narrated by Jolyon Troscianko: watch it below. Also see this article from the brilliant Guardian blogger GrrlScientist on the associated citzen science project, Egglab, spearheaded by Martin Stevens at Exeter.
Our paper ‘Why and how to apply Weber’s Law to coevolution and mimicry’ has been published in the journal Evolution. This perspectives paper, written by Tanmay Dixit, Eleanor Caves, Claire Spottiswoode, and Nicholas Horrocks, argues that Weber’s Law of proportional processing can lead to otherwise counterintuitive predictions about the evolutionary trajectories of mimicry systems. Weber’s Law states that when the magnitude of a stimulus is large, it is more difficult to discriminate a change or difference from that stimulus. In other words, relative differences are more salient than absolute differences. We show that Weber’s Law could have implications for mimicry: when stimulus magnitudes are high, it should be more difficult to discriminate a model from a mimic. This leads to testable predictions about evolutionary trajectories of models and mimics. We also present a framework for testing Weber’s Law and its implications for coevolution.