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Series: Attenborough Life in Colour

 

Seeing in Colour

   2021    Nature
The natural world is full of colours. For us, they are a source of beauty, but for animals they are a tool for survival. David Attenborough reveals the extraordinary ways in which animals use colour: to win a mate, to fight off rivals and to warn enemies. New camera technologies - some developed especially for this series – also allow us to see colours and patterns usually invisible to human eyes.
Ultraviolet cameras reveal bright signals on a butterfly’s wings and facial markings on yellow damselfish that are used as secret communication channels. Some animals can also detect polarized light, and specialist cameras can now show us how fiddler crabs see the world, and how mantis shrimp have strange polarization patterns on their bodies to signal to a mate or rival.

Hiding in Colour

   2021    Nature
David Attenborough reveals the extraordinary ways that some animals use colour to hide and disappear into the background. New science reveals how the Bengal tiger in central India uses its orange-black stripes to hide from its colour-blind prey. In Kenya’s Masai Mara, the zebra’s black-and-white pattern confuses predators with an extraordinary effect called motion dazzle. And on the island of Cuba, a small snail uses colourful stripes in a surprising way to hide from its enemies.
Other animals use colour to trick and to deceive. On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a blue-striped blenny uses colours to mimic other fish and launch a sudden attack. In the grasslands of Zambia, the chick of a pin-tailed whydah mimics the patterns of its nest mates to ensure that it is not detected as an imposter. And specialist cameras reveal how a tiny crab spider uses bright ultraviolet colours to lure in its victims.

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