Talk:Mimicry

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Ideas[change source]

I am not a biologist, so don't know what I am talking about

  • The article does not explain why a spider would pose like an ant. I guess it isn't for protective purposes...
  • EnWP has several more types of mimicry (5 defensive, 2 aggressive, 1 automimicry, ...) - How much of this is easy to explain here?
  • Don't be shy to add scientific or plain references where they are helpful.

These are just ideas, though. --Eptalon (talk) 19:33, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

It's a good point that the images need some explaining. I'll do that.
On other types of mimicry: hmmm... well, we should put in Vavlovian, because it is so surprisingly different, and well-attested in the literature. Some of the other types can best be handled by illustrative examples. Macdonald-ross (talk) 19:11, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Score![change source]

The Flesch RES (reading ease score) is now up to about 68 [1]. That's about as simple as it gets. I don't think we should add any of the more outré types of mimicry; we've got all the types that a person would meet in school work or the first two years of a university course. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:11, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Oh, forgot to mention. Still lacking is a good photo example of Mullerian mimicry. The ones in Commons don't seem right for Simple. There's plenty in the literature, but copyright prevents my using them... Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:15, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Found one! Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:24, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Comments[change source]

A few offhand comments:

  • In total the article looks a little short to me, almost half of it is taken up by a gallery. While pictures are nice to explain things, they should in my opinion be "illustrations".
  • Facts: While most of the article centers on "visual mimicry", I think it should at least be mentioned that other types exist, and that often several "senses" are combined?
  • I don't know where I saw this but the "spider mimics as ant to prey on ants"?
  • Other example: Spiders change their web a little every day, because they "found our" bees can remember the location ; there are a number of good examples in "Aggressive mimicry" in the ENWP article; you could also take the sound files from there, perhaps to illustrate auditive mimicry?
  • There are several words that are hard to understand; replace them with easier ones, explain them or link to wiktionary.

Willing to do a more thorouigh review when the article is longer.--Eptalon (talk) 18:24, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

៛ I can do the other senses; the big synergy is really with behaviour, which almost all visual mimics use.
៛ It's a good idea to grab one or two sound files.
៛ Longer? Yes, it will be, after taking suggestions into account.
Macdonald-ross (talk) 20:17, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I found it necessary to cast the net wider than I had planned, especially on the subject of warning colouration. This, like camouflage, is a prerequisite for understanding mimicry.
It's a nuance, but when one deals with particular animals and plants, the graphics are more than just illustrations. They are part of the data of the subject. I regret greatly not being able to use some of the outstanding photographs and diagrams of mimicry rings in modern books. Macdonald-ross (talk) 10:01, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Comments 2[change source]

  • Lead is a little too long.
  • I like the lead image but the caption is HUGE and needs simplifying or linking.
  • Not sure why so much use of italics.
  • "the better mimics survive better." I know we're being Simple but this is awful prose.
  • Avoid overlinking, e.g. Evolution is linked twice in the last para of the lead.
  • Avoid squashing text between two images.
  • Don't overdo the number of images - you could (if you really wanted) add a gallery, although a few good images are better than dozens of mediocre ones.
  • " If you look at most animals" - this isn't a guidebook, it's an encyclopedia. Write accordingly.
  • "Why do not all animals use camouflage?" ditto.
  • Wallace's quote is missing a closing quote mark.
  • "The whole set-up has been extensively investigated, and, in broad outline, confirmed." - this is far from encyclopedic writing style.
  • "In this kind of mimicry.." introduce properly, i.e. "In Mullerian mimicry..."
  • "More on mimicry: Warning Colour and Mimicry Lecture outline from University College London" - should be a See also or Other website.
  • "Spend some time in a garden, quietly watching the insects which visit flowers. You will soon see ..." not encyclopedic writing again.
  • Muller and Bates images not needed in this particular article.
  • Not sure why Butterflies and Moths and Biologists are categories. This is a much more general article than those categories suggest.

The Rambling Man (talk) 09:47, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your detailed comments. Here's a summary of changes:
♦ Lead cut down, and prose simplified.
♦ Tiger Moth image tranferred to section at bottom, and material put into new section; simpler image chosen for lead.
♦ Italics greatly reduced
♦ Prose more formal (several places), and in some cases better.
♦ Some images moved to eliminate problems with flow of text.
♦ Images of biologists cut.
♦ Gallery reduced.
♦ Category Biologists cut. Category Lepidoptera: useful as so intimately connected with the history of this topic.
♦ Some extra content, e.g. section 'Combined tactics'.
Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:54, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Mammal mimic?[change source]

Just out of curiosity, what mammal is a mimic (beyound the blending-in/camouflage)? --Eptalon (talk) 21:03, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

There are very few. Consider: there are few mammal species (a few thousand), and of those most use camouflage. The causes of death in larger anmimals is different from small animals, so mammals in general lose more to infections and parasites, compared to insects, for whom predation is the major cause of death by far. Even so, there are one or two mimics. The Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) is a mimic of the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), which is a serious predator as well as scavenger.. I copy the following from a letter of Edward Blyth to Charles Darwin, 1867:
"Among mammalia there is one very striking instance in the case of certain Malayan Squirrels (Rhinosciurus of Gray), which wonderfully mimic the appearance of the Tupaiæ among the Insectivora, which inhabit the same region. Size, form (elongated muzzle), colour, character of fur, flattened brush, and even the pale humeral line which is characteristic of the Tupayes, but found in no other Squirrel that I know of. I do not, however, perceive the object in this case of mimicry". Which at least shows that the question is an old one!
Macdonald-ross (talk) 21:48, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Warning colouration[change source]

I have transfered the bulk of this section to a new page under that name, leaving just the main points here. The section was rather too dominant here, yet strictly speaking it was not about mimicry. Batesian and Mullerian mimicry are (correctly) left here under the shortened account of warning colouration. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:16, 27 June 2011 (UTC)