How one naughty bird cheats with fancy feather structures

The bright plumage of a male tanager bird is a signal of evolutionary fitness that makes him more attractive to females. Traditionally, they get their bright colours from the carotenoids (pigments) of the fruit they eat, but researchers have discovered that some males may be changing the structure of their feathers to suit the preferences of their species. It would seem that the birds are prioritising their vanity over functionality, as with these colour changes come sacrifices, such as the ability to easily repel water. Read full article here


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