Ultraviolet plumage colors predict mate preferences in starlings.

@article{Bennett1997UltravioletPC,
  title={Ultraviolet plumage colors predict mate preferences in starlings.},
  author={Andrew T. D. Bennett and Innes C. Cuthill and Julian C. Partridge and Klaus Lunau},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  year={1997},
  volume={94 16},
  pages={
          8618-21
        }
}
  • A. Bennett, I. Cuthill, K. Lunau
  • Published 5 August 1997
  • Biology
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Avian plumage has long been used to test theories of sexual selection, with humans assessing the colors. However, many birds see in the ultraviolet (<400 nm), to which humans are blind. Consequently, it is important to know whether natural variation in UV reflectance from plumage functions in sexual signaling. We show that female starlings rank males differently when UV wavelengths are present or absent. Principal component analysis of approximately 1300 reflectance spectra (300-700 nm) taken… 

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