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Different ranking of avian colors predicted by modeling of retinal function in humans and birds
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology.
2008 (English)In: American Naturalist, ISSN 0003-0147, E-ISSN 1537-5323, Vol. 171, no 6, 831-838 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Only during the past decade have vision-system-neutral methods become common practice in studies of animal color signals. Consequently, much of the current knowledge on sexual selection is based directly or indirectly on human vision, which may or may not emphasize spectral information in a signal differently from the intended receiver. In an attempt to quantify this discrepancy, we used retinal models to test whether human and bird vision rank plumage colors similarly. Of 67 species, human and bird models disagreed in 26 as to which pair of patches in the plumage provides the strongest color contrast or which male in a random pair is the more colorful. These results were only partly attributable to human UV blindness. Despite confirming a strong correlation between avian and human color discrimination, we conclude that a significant proportion of the information in avian visual signals may be lost in translation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 171, no 6, 831-838 p.
Keyword [en]
sexual selection, color signals, plumage coloration, vision
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-110220DOI: 10.1086/587529ISI: 000255606000013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-110220DiVA: diva2:275595
Available from: 2009-11-06 Created: 2009-11-05 Last updated: 2016-04-15Bibliographically approved

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Odeen, Anders
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