The most widely accepted theories as to how primates select medicinal organisms are based on smelling-tasting bitter, and most of the times toxic, plants (Etkin & Ross, 1982; Johns, 1990). In primates, however, the senses of smell and taste are not as dominant as vision, an evolutionary trait which has been proven to be one of the most favored. I present a perspective claiming that aposematism, the conspicuous coloration displayed by toxic organisms, may play an important role in human recognition of medicinal organisms. This paper represents an open invitation for ecological anthropologists and ethnobiologists to generate empirical data that can support the aposematic hypothesis of medicine selection.
Narchi, Nemer E.. "Aposematism: An Alternative Hypothesis on How We Discover Medicinal Organisms." Journal of Ecological Anthropology 19, no. 1 (2017): 18-28.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jea/vol19/iss1/1