Camouflage is one of the most famous examples of adaptation in nature, but amazingly, it has proven surprisingly hard to show that it really works in the wild, as seen by the eyes of the appropriate predators. This study shows that natural nests in the wild in Zambia survive better when they’re concealed by better-camouflaged nightjar parents sitting tight on their eggs (like the Mozambique nightjar at left), or when they contain better-camouflaged eggs left exposed by their fleeing plover and courser parents. Read more in an article about the study in Nature World News, or in the original paper by Jolyon Troscianko, Jared Wilson-Aggarwal, Martin Stevens and Claire Spottiswoode, and is available open access in Scientific Reports.
Dr Gabriel Jamie has just returned from a successful couple of months of fieldwork in Zambia as part of his Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship. For this research, Dr Jamie is exploring the evolution of polymorphisms across diverse avian family Cisticolidae which exhibit some of the most complex and diverse eggs of any group of birds in the world.