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Meet the Monkey Slug Caterpillar

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 22, 2020

This handsome looking character is called the monkey slug caterpillar and its appearance has evolved to resemble a tarantula, which affords it protection from predators. This video was captured in the Ecuadorian rain forest by David Weiller; it’s a great example of mimicry. From Wikipedia:

In evolutionary biology, mimicry is an evolved resemblance between an organism and another object, often an organism of another species. Mimicry may evolve between different species, or between individuals of the same species. Often, mimicry functions to protect a species from predators, making it an antipredator adaptation. Mimicry evolves if a receiver (such as a predator) perceives the similarity between a mimic (the organism that has a resemblance) and a model (the organism it resembles) and as a result changes its behaviour in a way that provides a selective advantage to the mimic.

(via colossal)