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.
Tanmay Dixit was a member of a team organising and lecturing in the inaugural Evolutionary Biology Crash Course. This course, aimed at undergraduate or early-postgraduate students, teaches evolutionary principles to students who have had limited opportunities to be exposed to evolutionary ideas. The course is funded by the Equal Opportunities Initiative Fund of the European Society of Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). Tanmay presented lectures on behavioural ecology and evolution, focussing on kin selection, coevolution, and parasitism. Over 700 students, with the vast majority from the global South, attended the course, which was a resounding success!