colour of birds

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mr bollocks
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colour of birds

Post by mr bollocks » Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:52 am

why are birds so colourful compared to other animals?

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James
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Post by James » Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:00 am

Because it's not a great disadvantage to be colourful for some birds, ie it does'nt affect their ability to survive. However the colours may aid in finding a mate, thus, being colourful is a advantage.

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biostudent84
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Post by biostudent84 » Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:08 pm

Also, in most birds, the more vibrant their coloring is, the healthier they are.

For example, in peacocks, on males, the more "eyes" they have on their tails, the healthier they are, so female peacocks seek out the avaliable male with the most eyes.

If only that worked in humans.....this four-eyes would get all de ladies ;)

Kyle

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mith
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Post by mith » Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:45 pm

It does act as a disadvantange. A colorful bird in an otherwise brown and green forest would stand out like the proverbial sore thumb. it makes the jobs of predators much easier. But...if the bird survives to mate that means it's fit enough to escape predators despite the plumage.
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mr bollocks
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Post by mr bollocks » Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:55 pm

mithrilhack wrote:It does act as a disadvantange. A colorful bird in an otherwise brown and green forest would stand out like the proverbial sore thumb. it makes the jobs of predators much easier. But...if the bird survives to mate that means it's fit enough to escape predators despite the plumage.


so its a kind of self-imposed disadvantage to show you're fit enough to still make it. a bit like a man running a marathon with a heavy backpack to show off to de ladies.

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biostudent84
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Post by biostudent84 » Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:19 pm

mithrilhack wrote:It does act as a disadvantange. A colorful bird in an otherwise brown and green forest would stand out like the proverbial sore thumb. it makes the jobs of predators much easier. But...if the bird survives to mate that means it's fit enough to escape predators despite the plumage.


Don't forget that birds are highly mobile creatures. They don't need to hide because they can run fairly easily.

Evolution selects for traits that allows an organism to survive. Therefore, the decreased camoflauge is still outweighed by the benefit of radiant colors.

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lohita
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Post by lohita » Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:40 am

With the help of colours birds can camoflage themselves with the surroundings in order to save themselves from hunters and other enemies :D

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Post by canalon » Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:54 am

[quote="lohita"]With the help of colours birds can camoflage themselves with the surroundings in order to save themselves from hunters and other enemies :D[/quote

Well it seems that this thread is more about the vibrant colors of some species that do not help camouflage them at all. And that are mostly limited to the male of the species. It has been explained by mithrilhack, and it's often refered to as "sexual selection". Note that the female do indeed have colours that help them camouflage.

This kind of selection is not always applied to feather colours, but can be seen in other features too, like construction of highly elaborated nests or any other strategies of seduction where the male have a high burden that is offering a way to allow the females to select the fittest guys around

Patrick

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