Above, the real deal; below, the clay models used to test predators’ reactions to local and foreign frog markings.
Sometimes, you have to make a thousand frogs from modelling clay to make your point.
A single species of poison dart frog sports ten completely different coloration patterns, depending on where they live. Are these color divisions being encouraged by the birds that prey on them?, wondered evolutionary biologist Mathieu Chouteau from the University of Montreal. To find out, he set out 1800 clay frogs, made by himself and his (saintly!) girlfriend, in the Peruvian forest.