What is mimicry?
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What Does mimicry Mean
The first step that we are going to take in order to know the meaning of the term mimicry is to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we have to underline that it is a neologism that comes from Greek, as it is made up of several lexical components of that language:
-The word “mimetés”, which can be translated as “imitator”.
-The suffix “-ismo”, which is used to indicate “condition” or “state”.
It was in the 19th century that this term was given shape and the person in charge of doing it was the English-born naturalist and geologist Samuel Pickworth Woodward (1821 - 1865). Specifically, the first time he used that word was in his book entitled "A Manual of the Mollusca" (1951).
Mimicry is the act and result of mimicking or mimicking . This verb (to mimic), meanwhile, refers to copying something from another or adopting the appearance of creatures or elements of the environment .
The concept is used with reference to the property of certain species of plants and animals that are capable of modifying their appearance to resemble other beings . Mimicry allows them to achieve certain advantages over other specimens that live with them.
This ability, therefore, aims to produce deception . The other animals , seeing a camouflaged specimen, confuse him.
Among the words that can function as synonyms for mimicry are camouflage, concealment, adaptation, disguise, imitation or resemblance, for example.
There are different kinds of mimicry. The Müllerian mimicry , described by Fritz Müller in 1878 , is one who develop two or more species dangerous than sharing predators, mimicking warning signs.
The Batesian mimicry , meanwhile, is developed by a species that copy the features of one that has major defensive resources. In this way, it imitates stingers or thorns, for example , so that predators, when observing it, desist from attacking it. The expert who detailed how this mimicry works was Henry Walter Bates .
Self- mimicry , meanwhile, consists of making a part of the body blend in with another more vulnerable sector. In this way, the predator finds two apparently identical regions to attack, which allows the animal that appeals to mimicry to increase its chances of survival and escape.
It should be noted that, although mimicry is usually associated with camouflage , both strategies are not exactly the same. Camouflage is based on the imitation of the environment in general, while mimicry aims to resemble other beings in that environment.
Starting from the latter, we have to say that there is what is known as military mimicry or military camouflage. This term refers to the ability of an objective to go completely unnoticed before the gaze of an enemy.
This mimicry is not only carried out by the soldiers, who when they fight outdoors wear their green clothes and even paint their faces that same color, but also through their vehicles. Thus, we can find, for example, tanks with the usual camouflage colors: green and brown. It is the way that they go unnoticed among the vegetation and are not noticed by the enemy.