Behavioral Plasticity and the Origins of Novelty: The Evolution of the Rattlesnake Rattle

@article{Allf2016BehavioralPA,
  title={Behavioral Plasticity and the Origins of Novelty: The Evolution of the Rattlesnake Rattle},
  author={Bradley Allf and Paul A P Durst and David W. Pfennig},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  year={2016},
  volume={188},
  pages={475 - 483}
}
Environmentally induced behavior (behavioral plasticity) has long been hypothesized to promote the origins of novel morphological traits, but this idea remains controversial. [] Key Method We specifically evaluated whether rattlesnake rattling behavior-and, hence, the rattle-originated from a simple behavior: vibrating the tail when threatened. By reconstructing the ancestral state of defensive tail vibration, we show that this behavior is nearly ubiquitous in the Viperidae (the family that includes…
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