Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"analogous resemblances” or “mimetic analogies

Remarkable Creatures
Imitators That Hide in Plain Sight, and Stay Alive

Published: February 16, 2010
The New York Times
Henry Walter Bates returned to England in 1859 with 14,000 species from the Amazon, just in time for Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.”

Bates explained to Darwin that he had found many instances in which a completely harmless and potentially edible animal resembled a distasteful, inedible, noxious or poisonous species. He observed flies that looked like bees, beetles that looked like wasps, even caterpillars that looked like pit vipers. He referred to these as “analogous resemblances” or “mimetic analogies.”

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