The origin of mimicry: deception or merely coincidence?

Bram Wiggers, Harmen de Weerd

Onderzoeksoutput: PaperOther research output


One of the most remarkable phenomena in nature is mimicry,
in which one species (the mimic) evolves to imitate the phenotype of
another species (the model). Several reasons for the origin of mimicry
have been proposed, but no definitive conclusion has been found yet. In
this paper, we test several of these hypotheses through an agent based coevolutionary
model. In particular, we consider two possible alternatives:
(1) Deception, in which mimics evolve to imitate the phenotype of models
that predators avoid to eat, and (2) Coincidence, in which models evolve
a warning color to avoid predation, which coincidentally benefits the
mimics. Our agent-based simulation shows that both these hypotheses
are plausible origins for mimicry, but also that once a mimicry situation
has been established through coincidence, mimics will take advantage of
the possibility for deception as well.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's15
StatusAccepted/In press - 8 nov. 2017
EvenementThe 29th Benelux Conference on Artificial Intelligence - Het Kasteel, Groningen, Netherlands
Duur: 8 nov. 20179 nov. 2017
Congresnummer: 29


ConferenceThe 29th Benelux Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Verkorte titelBNAIC 2017
Internet adres


  • mimicry
  • kunstmatige intelligentie


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