The Mona Lisa effect: How eyespots deter predators that approach from different directions

The eyespots of many prey animals deter predators from attacking, like those of the peacock butterfly. In a new study, researchers show that the configuration of eyespots have an impact on the prey’s survival. The deterrent potential of eyespots is larger when they appear to look directly at a predatory chick. The most effective deterrent are concentric circles that subjectively appear to maintain eye contact regardless of the perspective from which they are approached.

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