Schoolbook evolution stories would tell us that the bats evolved that ruse as a random mutation acted on by natural selection—as if it were some kind of a lucky number they might have come up with in 65 million years. Not so fast. It’s a hitherto unknown system that will need a considerably more detailed explanation than that. Evoking “natural selection” as a mantra won’t work like it used to, back when we knew so much less.
Given a time period for the emergence of butterflies, what is the probability of this camouflage occurring by purely Darwinian means? If calculation replaced assertion, we’d likely be looking for other mechanisms than natural selection acting on random mutations.
Now, another question arises: Why don’t more life forms show colorful patterns to deter flies? Are there costs and drawbacks as well?