warning coloration

noun

Definition of warning coloration 

: conspicuous markings or bright colors possessed by an animal that serve as a warning to potential predators that it is toxic or distasteful The vivid orange, red, black and white color patterns on the wings are a monarch's advertisement to potential predators. This warning coloration enables a bird such as a blue jay, which might eat one poisonous monarch and become ill, to recognize and avoid the butterfly by sight alone in the future. —Marcia Davis

Examples of warning coloration in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The striking bright blues, yellows, and oranges of poison dart frogs are a classic example of warning coloration, sending a message to predators to stay away. Michael Allen, Science | AAAS, "How bright colors help these poison tree frogs hide from predators," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'warning coloration.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of warning coloration

1928, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of warning coloration was in 1928

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