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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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