Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Science Study Explains The Sexy Glow Of Parrot Plumage

Date:
January 4, 2002
Source:
American Association For The Advancement Of Science
Summary:
Fluorescent colors in human fashion fall in and out of style. But, the glowing look is always alluring if you're a parrot, according to scientists in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Fluorescent colors in human fashion fall in and out of style. But, the glowing look is always alluring if you're a parrot, according to scientists in the United Kingdom and Australia.

New findings on parrot plumage are reported in the 4 January 2002 issue of the international journal, Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

An ingenious experiment with budgerigar birds--completed by Kathryn E. Arnold of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and colleagues-- suggests that the birds derive some of their sex appeal from the fluorescence of their feathers. Fluorescent pigments appear to "glow" when they absorb and re-emit ultra-violet (UV) light at longer wavelengths.

The researchers tested for evidence of fluorescent sexual signaling in the birds by applying sunscreen to the bright yellow crown feathers of males and females, to reduce the UV absorption of the plumage, consequently "dulling" their fluorescence.

The result: Both male and female budgies showed a significant sexual preference for brightly glowing (fluorescent) companions, compared to their sunscreen-slicked rivals. This suggests that natural fluorescence may be an adaptive signal in the birds, rather than a simple byproduct of their feather coloring.

With Kathryn Arnold, co-authors on this Science study were Ian P.F. Owens at the Imperial College at Silwood Park, U.K.; and N. Justin Marshall, University of Queensland, Australia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association For The Advancement Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association For The Advancement Of Science. "Science Study Explains The Sexy Glow Of Parrot Plumage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020104075009.htm>.
American Association For The Advancement Of Science. (2002, January 4). Science Study Explains The Sexy Glow Of Parrot Plumage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020104075009.htm
American Association For The Advancement Of Science. "Science Study Explains The Sexy Glow Of Parrot Plumage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020104075009.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins