Assessing fancy males: what do female bowerbirds see during male courtship displays?
PhD researcher Menno van Berkel is testing how females perceive the displays of male great bowerbirds.
Catch the ladybird!
How does background complexity affect the efficacy of aposematic warning patterns? Third year undergraduate student Jon Hill is testing the role of animal patterning and visual background on prey capture times. Play online at http://www.visual-ecology.com/ladybirds
Motion dazzle describes high contrast markings (e.g. black and white stripes) that do not provide concealment to a prey animal, but may help it to avoid capture by affecting perception of its motion. In collaboration with Then Try This and Anna Hughes, we have created ‘Dazzle Bug’, an online game where the challenge is to capture moving patterned bugs. The bug patterns will evolve over time to become harder to catch, allowing us to understand how patterns can provide movement camouflage. Play at www.dazzle-bug.co.uk! We have adapted this game for use in class practicals and for outreach purposes, please get in touch if you are interested in using Dazzle Bug.