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RE: Dino coloration and more...

Wayne said:

> Animals whose primary predators are colorblind (e.g., zebras) may
> sport a camouflage scheme that's highly visible to color-sighted
> animals (e.g., us).

which does zebras no good when they're predated upon by us   
Zebras are 1) still hard to spot in their environment from a distance as   
the stripes will blur their shape to a fuzzy grey.  It  works quite   
nicely to hide zebras from human sight as well as color-blind animals.   
and 2) the quagga (a striped zebra relative removed from existance by   
the Victorian era) is now extinct by being predated upon by   
color-perceptors that could see stripes from a closer distance just fine,   
than you.

>        Highly visible animals occur in two situations: where the
>environment is similarly colored (rain forest butterflies and birds),
>and where there is no need of camouflage or stealth (skunks, poison

umm-highly visible animals appear where their coloration helps them   
survive. In brightly colored jungles, brightly colored mates are easier   
to find.  And in any situtaion, nasty, poisonous animals are colored so   
that the memory of eating ONE (or messing with as in the case of skunks)   
of them helps the rest that are marked simiarily to survive.

>It's interesting to note that very few predators have
>high-visibility color schemes -- the coral snake is the first that
>comes to mind, and that's defensive.

 I won't argue with you, but will mention wasps, spiders, and other   
carnivorous insects that are brightly colored. And have other means of   
defense other than looking colorful.

>Finally, since flowering plants didn't show up until the Cretaceous, I'd   
>expect most creatures to be more in the drab shades until then.

     Plants don't have to be flowering to be brightly colored.  The fall   
coloration of decidous trees makes a very nice place for the red bat and   
the red fox to hide in and they're amongst the brightest colored of   

 -Betty Cunningham