séminaire du PEV – vendredi 16 décembre 2016

Animal colouration: lessons from owls and lizards

Luis M. San-Jose, Dept Ecology & Evolution, université de Neuchatel, Suisse

vendredi 16 décembre 2016 à 11 heures, amphi Monge


Animal colouration has been traditionally the target of evolutionary studies, not only because colour variation within and between species can be easily assessed and recognized but because, in its diversity, animal colouration offers the opportunity to study evolution from different points of view. Animal colouration can be environmentally and/or genetically determined, exhibit discrete, polymorphic variation or continuous variation, function in different contexts and evolve under natural or sexual selection or under their combined action. During my talk, I would like to present a glimpse of the diversity of proximate and ultimate mechanisms associated with colour variation in natural systems. I will present recent findings on the different mechanisms through which colour variation occurs in the wild: environmental variation in iridiophore-based reflectance of common lizards and genetic determinants of melanin-based colouration in barn owls, as well as on the different ways through which selection can act on colour traits, including a recently discovered rock-paper-scissors game in common lizards and the selection that the Moon cycle exerts on the plumage colouration of the barn owls.