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warning coloration

noun, Biology.
a bold, distinctive pattern of color characteristic of a poisonous or unpalatable organism, as the skunk or the monarch butterfly, that functions as a warning to and defense against predators.
Origin of warning coloration
First recorded in 1925-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for warning coloration
Historical Examples
  • Along with the theory of warning coloration the theory of mimicry has been propounded.

    Butterflies Worth Knowing Clarence M. Weed
  • The preceding outline will sufficiently explain the characteristics of "warning coloration" and the end it serves in nature.

    Darwinism (1889) Alfred Russel Wallace
  • There are no grounds, however, for supposing that the mantids had any appreciation of the warning coloration of the Acraeines.

    Mimicry in Butterflies Reginald Crundall Punnett
warning coloration in Science
warning coloration
Conspicuously recognizable markings of an animal that serve to warn potential predators of the nuisance or harm that would come from attacking or eating it. The bold patterns of skunks and the bright colors of poison arrow frogs are examples of warning coloration. Also called aposematic coloration. Compare camouflage.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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