warning coloration

noun
|Updated on: 22 Jun 2018

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

Recent Examples of warning coloration from the Web

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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