I once asked my Australian Wildlife Biology class the question, “Why are the vast majority of Australian lizards brown?” The obvious answer is that Australia is a dry, brown continent and that lizards have evolved concealing coloration. Both the question and answer belie a fascinating complexity and diversity of animal color patterns and the evolutionary processes generating and maintaining them. Nevertheless, the implication is that concealing coloration is both ubiquitous and central to understanding animal diversity, a view eloquently argued by Judy Diamond and Alan Bond in their new book.

Diamond and Bond provide a compelling overview of the evolution of concealing coloration, from the molecular structure of pigments to frequency-dependent selection and predator cognition. The book is structured in four parts: the first describes forms of concealment; the second explains mechanisms of color production and predator visual perception; the...

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