Animal coloring phenomena

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alexa
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Animal coloring phenomena

Post by alexa » Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:55 pm

hai, about a month ago I was watching some documentary on NGC. It was something about some scientist making an experiment. They caught a bird (http://www.kpss.si/image/207.jpg) and the bird was a male with a brown tail. They explained that if a male has a brown tail he is not as attractive to the females as he would be with the black one. And then they colored his tail and watched him. He got a mate in no-time. Then they observed him for some time, month or something, and the tail really got darker, kinda blackish. And then they announced that this is a wide spread phenomena in the animal kingdom. The bird also seemed to change its behavior.

I want to know if someone recognizes this phenomena and if one would give me some examples or some sites describing it.

byi

alexa
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Post by alexa » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:39 am

nobody knows? :(

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Post by Darby » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:30 pm

I don't think anybody can figure out what you're describing - they colored the tail, and then it got darker-?

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Post by alexa » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:14 am

Yes
Somehow the bird changed its behavior.
The color of the tail is probably "controlled", defined by the amount of some hormone in the blood system. The start level of the hormone seemed to be low but then they colored him (the tail) and he looked like a good male which would produce good offspring. Probably that rose his hormone levels, thus making the tail darker. His behavior also changed.

I only caught the last few minutes of the show, enough to hear that this is happening across the animal kingdom on a daily basis.

PS
I don't think anybody can figure out what you're describing - they colored the tail, and then it got darker-?

It doesnt become darker in an instance. It takes like 1-2months, until the new tail faders

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MrMistery
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Post by MrMistery » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:16 pm

This sounds like a poorly designed experiment. OK, so his tail got darker after 2 months. So? How were they able to prove that the tail got darker because they had previously painted it? If anything, his tail may have gone darker because he mated, but even that doesn't make much sense. I mean, he had no way of knowing that he got the girl because he had a dark tail. Are they saying that males "darken" their tails after mating and that females use the dark tail as an indication of guys that have previously had sex on the principle "If the other girls want him, he must be a good catch" - which is indeed a well established and documented behavior. But if that is what they are implying, then how come all the males don't cheat and have black tails?

As for the behavior, i wouldn't be that surprised if i were you. Most animals, including humans, exhibit different behaviors after mating(which is usually especially obvious in males)
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter

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Re:

Post by alexa » Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:20 pm

MrMistery wrote: But if that is what they are implying, then how come all the males don't cheat and have black tails?


Well the thing is controlled by some hormone and since one cant influence its production they cant cheat.

The thing I think was like this...he wasnt an alpha male (not sure if birds have alpha, beta males thingy) for his tail was brownish. Then they artificially colored it (the tail) as he would be an alpha male. Then he mated (as he would if he would be the alpha male), then his tail really got blackish as if he would be an alpha male from the start.

U said there that this is a vastly documented behavioral pattern....can u give any links, sites maybe :roll:

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Post by MrMistery » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:10 pm

I was speaking in an evolutionary sense: accidental mutation causes high hormone levels, black tail, many girls, many offspring. textbook natural selection.
I don't think birds have an alpha male, cause birds don't live in packs.
As for that behavior, i read it in my biology textbook(Campbell Biology). If you don't trust me, research it yourself.
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter

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