The art of imitation

As mortal entities with a limited life-span and intellectual capabilities, we are bound by the cognitive limits that the nature has imposed on us. We can’t do everything or solve every problem that we encounter just by ourselves. Therefore, over the period of our evolution, among other things, we developed an ability to imitate something or someone instead of “reinventing the wheel”. However, we don’t copy just anything. In order to make imitation work, it has to be beneficial in the long run.

Nature is full of such examples. Take for instance, Monarch butterfly. It’s poisonous and so the predators won’t risk to have a bite of this butterfly. Some other butterflies have learned this fact over the period of their evolution. Viceroy butterflies are not poisonous, but they have learned that having the looks of Monarch butterfly is life-saver and so, they imitate Viceroy’s colors and patterns. See for yourself in the following pictures how similar both the butterflies look, but one can be a good snack, and the other a death-trap!

Viceroy butterfly Monarch butterfly
Viceroy butterfly Monarch butterfly

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