Prey species evolve a variety of ways to avoid predators, including camouflage, conspicuous colouration, and chemical toxins. But a new study of amphibians indicates that evolving toxins against predators increases the rate of extinction for prey species

Prey species evolve a variety of ways to avoid their predators, including chemical toxins, camouflage, and conspicuous colouration. But what are the potential costs associated with anti-predator defences? According to a study of amphibians published today in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, chemical defence and conspicuous colouration enhance speciation rates in prey species, as predicted. But unexpectedly, evolution of chemical defences also increases extinction rates — even above the rate of speciation. As a result, developing chemical defences against predators increases the overall risk of extinction for prey species.

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Source: Guardian Environment