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Antipredator defenses predict diversification rates [PNAS]

Keywords : escape-and-radiate, coevolution, speciation, extinction, amphibians

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

The “escape-and-radiate” hypothesis predicts that antipredator defenses facilitate adaptive radiations by enabling escape from constraints of predation, diversified habitat use, and subsequently speciation. Animals have evolved diverse strategies to reduce the direct costs of predation, including cryptic coloration and behavior, chemical defenses, mimicry, and advertisement of unprofitability (conspicuous warning coloration). Whereas the survival consequences of these alternative defenses for individuals are well-studied, little attention has been given to the macroevolutionary consequences of alternative forms of defense. Here we show, using amphibians as the first, to our knowledge, large-scale empirical test in animals, that there are important macroevolutionary consequences of alternative defenses.(...)

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