One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of coloration or markings) serving to help recognition by animals of other individuals of the same species.
- ‘Recognition markings are episematic, assisting the individuals of the same species to keep together when their safety depends upon numbers, the young and inexperienced benefiting by the example of the older.’
Late 19th century: from epi- ‘upon’ + Greek sēma ‘sign’ + -atic.
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