Being Weird May Help You To Survive

May 13, 2009

Tennessee (ChattahBox) – Have a weird genetic flaw? Perhaps an ear bigger then the other, or bulging eyes? Well, as it turns out, this may save your life one day.

Tests performed on blue jays and salamanders has shown that predators are less likely to attack any form of their natural prey that is seen as somehow different.

In an interview with LiveScience, Dr, Benjamin Fitzpatrick explained:

“If one form has an advantage, such as being harder to spot, it should replace all others. Likewise, random drift [genetic change that occurs by chance] alone will eventually result in loss of all but one form when there are no fitness differences. There must therefore be some advantage that allows unusual traits to persist.”

Basically, they took a number of salamanders, one set with stripes in odd numbers, one with no strips in even numbers. They placed them in a field, and over the course of the study changed the amount of salamanders that were more prevalent.

The blue jays seemed to attack those that had most frequently been in greater numbers, even if their numbers decreased on that particular day.

It seems to point to an unwillingness (or perhaps inability to recognize) any variation that makes the creature different. In short, predators don’t like weird prey.


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