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The Evolution of Colors in Nudibranchs
One of the things that this adaptation or strategy for adaptation requires is that the potential predator has to experiment on this organism.
On the other hand, there are a lot of marine invertebrates and this is a nudibranch that has very bright color patterns
And in yet other members of the nudibranchs there is no shell at all in the adults and the larval stages still have a neatly little coiled shell.
Well, one of the things that a hypothesis of phylogeny allows us to do is to look at the direction of evolutionary change that takes place within a lineage.
By having that phylogeny, you can make predictions and test map those various color characters onto the phylogentic treeS
So what we did then is collect a series of fish called reef fish that were known to be general predators and examine their reaction to these different organisms.
In some cases, there can be real amalgamations of different organisms in the same habitat that have similar mimicry patterns and color patterns.
When we look at the overall diversity of diaxonocyclodaie, there are about 16 species that are known throughout the world.
The other thing that we are interested in looking at was how this relates to color patterns.
This is the sister species to that species and you can see that it has very similar color patterns.
We will now look at the other side of that general tree, which is all of the species found in the Indo-Pacific tropics from the coast of Africa over to Hawaii.
If we go one node lower, we find there are no opaque white lines anymore, there are purple lines.
These are three different species of nudibranchs that were found within a few meters of each other in one dive site in the Philippines.
So, the question that we're in the process of asking...
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