Cracks in the mirror hypothesis: high specularity does not reduce detection or predation risk

Amanda Franklin, Katrina Rankin, Laura Ospina-Rozo, Iliana Medina, Jair Garcia, Leslie Ng, Caroline Dong, Lu-Yi Wang, Anne Aulsebrook & Devi Stuart-Fox
Some animals, including certain fish, beetles, spiders and Lepidoptera chrysalises, have such shiny or glossy surfaces that they appear almost mirror-like. A compelling but unsubstantiated hypothesis is that a highly specular or mirror-like appearance enhances survival by reflecting the surrounding environment and reducing detectability. We tested this hypothesis by asking human participants to wear a mobile eye-tracking device and locate highly realistic mirror-green and diffuse-green replica beetles against a variety of backgrounds in a natural...
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