Rainforests

Advertising and false advertising

Of course, being poisonous is no protection unless animals that might eat you know you're poisonous...so a Heliconid butterfly advertises. It wears bright colors that are easy to recognize.

Like a security alarm sticker on a house, the Heliconid's coloring gives a warning: <<Don't mess with me. I am dangerous!>>

Other kinds of poisonous butterflies imitate the way the Heliconids look, to show that they too are dangerous to eat.

But imitation goes further. Butterflies don't own copyrights on their colors...so some butterflies that are not poisonous also look like Heliconids. They are trying to tric predators into leaving them alon - by pretending they are dangerous to eat.


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