As fieldwork overlapped with October Big Day, four of us – Collins, Silky, Mairenn and Jess – joined forces with other birders from Choma to record bird species in the area. Organised by the Cornell Lab, the day sees people around the world contribute to one global bird list. Just a few of over 20,000 people who took part in total, we contributed 152 species including the Zambian barbet to the 6,700-strong list. Big thanks to hosts Rory and Dori McDougall at Masuku Lodge for a fantastic day!
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.