Document Detail


Spectral reflectance and directional properties of structural coloration in bird plumage.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12089207     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Bird plumage is coloured both by pigments and by spectrally selective interference in the light reflected from feather barbs. These barbs are composites of high- and low-refractive-index materials, and light is reflected at refractive index boundaries. The spatial structure determines the wavelengths where constructive interference occurs and, hence, the spectral tuning. The spectral tuning of interference colours often varies with angles of illumination and reflection, which produces iridescence. Iridescence and other optical effects mean that interference coloration looks different from pigmentation and is visually striking. To study the optical and visual properties of structural plumage colours, we recorded the reflectance spectra of feathers and in particular their directional properties. A fixed spot on a feather was viewed from a fixed position, whilst the feather orientation and the angle of illumination were varied. We recognise two main types of coloration, 'directional' and 'diffuse'. Within these types, there is considerable variation, and five examples illustrate some features of structural plumage colours and suggest how their optical and visual properties can be measured and described.
Authors:
D Osorio; A D Ham
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  205     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2002 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-06-28     Completed Date:  2003-01-30     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2017-27     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QG, UK. d.osorio@sussex.ac.uk
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animals
Birds*
Color*
Columbidae
Feathers*
Light*
Optics and Photonics
Pigmentation*
Songbirds
Spectrophotometry*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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