The origin of the colours in the plumage of birds

  title={The origin of the colours in the plumage of birds},
  author={Chandrasekhara Venkata Sir Raman},
  journal={Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences - Section A},
  • C. Raman
  • Published 1 July 1934
  • Physics
  • Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences - Section A
7. SummaryObservations are described with the feathers ofCoracias Indica which throw doubt on the correctness of the theory that the blue of these feathers is a simple Tyndall effect due to the scattering of light by minute air cavities within the substance of the barb. Observations with the “Ultra-opak” microscope show that the coloured layers may exhibit tints ranging over the whole spectrum. A simple Tyndall effect is thus definitely insufficient to explain the observed phenomena. Further… 
Structure and colour-production of the blue barbs of Agapornis roseicollis and Cotinga maynana
  • J. Dyck
  • Physics
    Zeitschrift für Zellforschung und Mikroskopische Anatomie
  • 2004
The spongy structure in medullary cells responsible for the colour of blue barbs in rump feathers of Agapornis roseicollis and back feathers of Cotinga maynana is studied with the scanning and the transmission electron microscope and it is suggested that the colours are produced by the interference of light reflected from the front and rear surfaces of the rings, respectively the spherical cavities.
The morphology and evolution of feathers of structural colours based on Tyndall's principle, and double medullae in Alcedinidae and Thraupidae may represent stabilization of fluctuant conditions in other families.
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