Antipredator deception in terrestrial vertebrates

Tim Caro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Deceptive antipredator defense mechanisms fall into three categories: depriving predators of knowledge of prey's presence, providing cues that deceive predators about prey handling, and dishonest signaling. Deceptive defenses in terrestrial vertebrates include aspects of crypsis such as background matching and countershading, visual and acoustic Batesian mimicry, active defenses that make animals seem more difficult to handle such as increase in apparent size and threats, feigning injury and death, distractive behaviours, and aspects of flight. After reviewing these defenses, I attempt a preliminary evaluation of which aspects of antipredator deception are most widespread in amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Zoology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Amphibians
  • Birds
  • Defenses
  • Dishonesty
  • Mammals
  • Prey
  • Reptiles

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