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Well, this is about the last vertebrate you will see in this talk. - Well, actually, there's one more that you're going to get too. But basically we're going to get away from these charismatic megafauna and go from the sublime of these creatures to the slime of some of the nudibranchs. One of the things that we notice when we look at organisms immediately is that they have very striking color characteristics. This organism is sending a message to other members of its species that it is "God's gift to blue footed boobies" and it should be able to mate other individuals of its species in a selected fashion.

Other organisms that don't have as good color vision often are very brightly colored as well. They're not sending messages to members of their own species but rather they're sending messages to potential predators that they harbor toxic or distasteful substances and this is what we know as aposomatic or warning coloration. All of you know the classic story of the Monarch butterfly. Well, this is a locust that feeds on Euphorbia in southern Africa and incorporates the toxins from the Euphorbia and certainly advertises to potential predators that it is indeed distasteful.


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