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The Colors of Crawly Creatures

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Friday, October 13, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0304
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Materials for this program

The cainarachi poison frog (Ameerega cainarachi)

For centuries, naturalists have used patterns of color in identifying and classifying life on this planet. It follows that the accurate rendition of color in images of animals is critical for this purpose and thus was the focus of much attention by early artist-naturalists.

However, animal color tells us much more than where they belong in a classification scheme. Color plays a role in the ecology and behavior of insects, reptiles, and amphibians, serving to attract mates, warn predators, and provide camouflage. Color also can be a part of their physiology, reflecting changes in diet, adaptations of body temperature, and immunological responses. Kay Etheridge, a professor emerita of biology at Gettysburg College, gives visual examples of color in these various roles and discusses the challenges of naturalistic representation from medieval through modern times.

General Information

Inside Science