Definition of protective coloration in US English:

protective coloration

(also protective coloring)


  • Coloring that disguises or camouflages a plant or animal.

    ‘the moth's emergence in August was probably a little early for its protective coloring to be really effective’
    • ‘These things have always fascinated me, I think because I've always enjoyed experimenting with personas, talking to people from other tribes and taking on protective colouring that exploits those secret signs and passwords.’
    • ‘While protective coloration is well known among animals that rely on blending in with their environs, such adaptations aren't often noticed in the plant world.’
    • ‘Perhaps she developed the milquetoast protective coloring when she was dealing with her father and now adopts it with Herbert.’
    • ‘The received view of protective coloration in animals is that conspicuous colors and patterns have evolved because they elicit avoidance behavior in potential predators.’
    • ‘She clings to her protective coloration in public, but it's unsatisfying.’
    • ‘These pictures are illustrations used to demonstrate a point - the advantage of protective coloration to reduce the danger of predation.’
    • ‘They applied the lessons of animal protective colouring to warfare, the former going so far as to argue that all animal markings, no matter how conspicuous, served the purpose of concealment.’
    • ‘Interestingly, the metacercariae of many species may alter the behavior, or eliminate the protective coloration, of the second intermediate host, in such a way as to make it vulnerable to predation by the definitive host.’
    • ‘That figure may well be too low, since many nonbelievers are reluctant to admit that their religious observance is more a civic or social duty than a religious one - more a matter of protective coloration than conviction.’
    • ‘The idea of camouflage or protective coloration is intriguing.’
    • ‘As government activity has become more suspect, the service has taken the protective colouring of the management ethos of the private sector.’
    • ‘In the Amazon he was with Bates of the famous Batesean mimicry, a prime example of which is in moths that mimic each other's protective coloration.’
    • ‘Were communitarian ideas merely protective coloration for politicians of the left and right?’
    • ‘If architecture is, in origin, a defense against environmental uncertainties, his quasi-architectural recent work lives in the art world by taking monochrome painting as protective coloration.’
    • ‘The same squid that first hides in the camouflage of protective coloration will, further threatened, jet swiftly away, but leaves behind a shadow-body of ink: a highly visible, if substanceless decoy.’
    • ‘Woodcock and snipe depend on their protective coloration to render them invisible and seem to know their leaf-patterned backs will not give them away.’
    • ‘The snail's protective coloration and small size make it hard to find in soil substitutes - bark, peat moss, cinder, or pieces of coconut husk, called coir - used to fill greenhouse pots.’
    • ‘They tend to be more diurnal during the winter months, though are rarely seen because of their protective colouring and watchful, alert nature, slinking away at the sight of man.’
    • ‘Our close look at what was going on when individual males became dirty has, we think, shown why the transition to protective coloration is delayed.’
    • ‘And in biology this idea of ‘disruptive colouration’ has long been used to explain how insects such as moths conceal themselves from predators, shaping the evolution of protective coloration in insects.’
    protective colouring
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