Plumage Reflectance and the Objective Assessment of Avian Sexual Dichromatism

@article{Cuthill1999PlumageRA,
  title={Plumage Reflectance and the Objective Assessment of Avian Sexual Dichromatism},
  author={Innes C. Cuthill and Andrew T. D. Bennett and Julian C. Partridge and E. J. Maier},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  year={1999},
  volume={153},
  pages={183 - 200}
}
Assessment of color using human vision (or standards based thereon) is central to tests of many evolutionary hypotheses. Yet fundamental differences in color vision between humans and other animals call this approach into question. Here we use techniques for objectively assessing color patterns that avoid reliance on species‐specific (e.g., human) perception. Reflectance spectra are the invariant features that we expect the animal's color cognition to have evolved to extract. We performed… 
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The results indicate that the plumage-level, parallel variation of coloration might play a role in mate acquisition, and underlines the importance of considering potential developmental and functional integration among apparently different ornaments in studies of sexual selection.
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The results suggest that in pied flycatcher males, the UV reflectance of plumage may be positively correlated with individual quality.
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