Odor mimicry

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by bludyard, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. bludyard Registered Member

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    I got to thinking to today and started wondering if their were animals or plants that changed how they smelled so as to blend in with their surroundings or to mimic another organism. Like how some creatures mimic visually to camoflage themselves or scare away predators like cuttlefish, or the creatures that mimic the sounds other creatures make, like some birds do. Do these behaviors exist in the wild in olfactory form? Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes.
    Ants are much more attuned to chemistry than they are to imagery.

    There is a type of spider that mimics the ants upon whose eggs it preys, so as to avoid being attacked. Its mimicry is visual as well as hormonal (i.e. olfactory).
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    As you mentioned the variety of camouflaging and adaptation is almost uncountable in the insect world.
    It seems that evolution has resulted in nearly every imaginable type of camouflage, either for predation or defensive purposes, in almost all forms of life.

    Even in stationary plants we see predation such as in the venus fly trap. They get their sustenance (not their energy) from animals and protozoans.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivorous_plant

    These plants have an advantage in that many pollinating insects already milk many flowering plants for nectar . It seems that many of these predatory plants use hydraulic systems to trap and render prey immobile until the digestive enzymes have done their work.

    Trees seem to warn each other about caterpillar infestation and even healthy trees in the vicinity of an infected tree, will start producing tannin, which is a tree's defense against caterpillars. Remarkably, trees will produce tannin, but distribute it randomnly among its leaves, forcing the caterpillar to constantly change its digestive system, thereby delaying its maturation and control the damage from "clean" stripping of twigs.

    In the ocean there are fish washing stations run by "cleaner shrimp". Fish park themselves and allow the shrimp to clean their scales. Instead of eating this species of shrimp, the fish and the shrimp have formed a symbiotic relationship. How do they "know" the difference?

    Survival adaptations are astounding in their variety and methods. It seems nature just tries every possible variation and in the right environment sometimes the most bizarre adaptations may prove to be successful for survival.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  7. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    There’s no end of examples of organisms using hormonal mimicry in order to catch prey or trick pollinators. I also remember reading about different species of ants that can start reproducing each other’s pheromones in order to co-exist in close proximity. Some examples of these traits have been mentioned above.

    But utilizing chemical mimicry solely for the purposes of camouflage? That strikes me as not as clear cut. Can anyone reference a specific example of this?
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The spider I mentioned uses it to move freely among the ants, who would otherwise attack it.
     
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    As a defense certainly. The Bombardier Beetle is a perfect example.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_beetle

    The ink from an octopus has a strong irritant which tends to discourage predators.

    As camouflage;

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  10. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    i have been pondering an image for some time of what prehistoric times looked like when the potential of carnivorous plants may have been the most common.
    a world nearly over populated by flying insects etc...
    covered in carnivorous plants
    at the maxim of the flight stage where everything crawling began to dominate the flying space off the ground cover.

    i have pondered if this is associated to the level of precipitation and thus;
    will we see an explosion of insects as the water level rises ?
     
  11. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/how-stop-your-dog-rolling-poop
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    It's already happening. Aide from bacteria, there are only two species on the increase. Man because we can manipulate nature and the insect which can adapt to anything we do to nature.
     

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