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Vocal learning is thought to have evolved in three clades of birds (parrots, hummingbirds, and oscine passerines), and three clades of mammals (whales, bats, and primates). Behavioural data indicate that, unlike other suboscine passerines, the three-wattled bellbird Procnias tricarunculata (Cotingidae) is capable of vocal learning. Procnias tricarunculata(More)
Basic kinematic and detailed physical mechanisms of avian, non-vocal sound production are both unknown. Here, for the first time, field-generated high-speed video recordings and acoustic analyses are used to test numerous competing hypotheses of the kinematics underlying sonations, or non-vocal communicative sounds, produced by two genera of Pipridae,(More)
Sophisticated methods for true spectral rendering have been developed in computer graphics to produce highly accurate images. In addition to traditional applications in visualizing appearance, such methods have potential applications in many areas of scientific study. In particular, we are motivated by the application of studying avian vision and(More)
We use a tetrahedral color space to describe and analyze male plumage color variation and evolution in a clade of New World buntings--Cyanocompsa and Passerina (Aves: Cardinalidae). The Goldsmith color space models the relative stimulation of the four retinal cones, using the integrals of the product of plumage reflectance spectra and cone sensitivity(More)
Most birds have simple genitalia; males lack external genitalia and females have simple vaginas. However, male waterfowl have a phallus whose length (1.5->40 cm) and morphological elaborations vary among species and are positively correlated with the frequency of forced extra-pair copulations among waterfowl species. Here we report morphological complexity(More)
Some of the most vivid colors in the animal kingdom are created not by pigments, but by wavelength-selective scattering of light from nanostructures. Here we investigate quasi-ordered nanostructures of avian feather barbs which produce vivid non-iridescent colors. These b-keratin and air nanostructures are found in two basic morphologies: tortuous channels(More)
Plumage is a complex component of the avian phenotype. The plumage of an individual is composed of numerous hierarchically arranged developmental and morphological modules. We present a hierarchical model of plumage that provides an intellectual framework for understanding the development and evolution of feathers. Independence, covariation, and interaction(More)
Sexual conflict occurs when the evolutionary interests of the sexes differ and it broadly applies to decisions over mating, fertilization and parental investment. Recently, a narrower view of sexual conflict has emerged in which direct selection on females to avoid male-imposed costs during mating is considered the distinguishing feature of conflict, while(More)
During courtship flights, males of some hummingbird species produce diverse sounds with tail feathers of varying shapes. We show that these sounds are produced by air flowing past a feather, causing it to aeroelastically flutter and generate flutter-induced sound. Scanning laser doppler vibrometery and high-speed video of individual feathers of different(More)
The phylogenetic relationships of members of Cotingidae were investigated using >2100 bp of sequence data from two nuclear introns (myoglobin intron 2 and G3PDH intron 11) and one protein-coding mitochondrial gene (cytochrome b). Strong support was found for a monophyletic clade including 23 traditional cotingid genera, corresponding to the Cotingidae sensu(More)