Now listen to part of a lecture in a biology class.
We have a good example of this with the skunk. As most of you know, the skunk is a furry little mammal that can be found throughout North America.
Skunks have a very distinctive marking. Their body is mostly black, and they have a big white stripe that runs from the top of their head all the way down their back and along their big bushy tail. So they're very easy to see and very easy to recognize even from a distance.
Skunks also have special glands under their tail that produce a terrible, smelling liquid. And when skunks are approached by a predator, they lift their tail and spray the predator with this liquid.
For example, let's say a wolf is preparing to attack a skunk. As the wolf approaches, the skunk lifts its tail and sprays the wolf. That's very very unpleasant for the wolf because it's now covered with this repulsive, foul-smelling liquid. The wolf doesn't want to be sprayed again, so it backs off and leaves the skunk alone. And from then on, whenever that wolf sees a furry, little black body with a big white stripe running from its head to its tail, it'll recall that terrible smell and it'll be sure to stay far away.
Explain how the professor’s example from the lecture illustrates warning coloration.
Warning coloration refers to a type of coloring that animals have to signal predators of the presence of defenses. In the lecture, the professor uses skunk as an example to illustrate this term. Skunks have a big white stripe that runs from the top of the head down their back and along the big bushy tail. The special glands under their tail can produce a terrible, smelling liquid. When a wolf is preparing to attack a skunk, the skunk lifts its tail and sprays the wolf. So the wolf backs off and leaves the skunk alone. From then on, whenever the wolf sees the skunk, it will recall the terrible smell and stay far away from it.