Feather Colors Affect Bird Physiology

Feather Colors Affect Bird Physiology


Some interesting research has emerged regarding the effects of feather colors on a bird's internal physiology. So, we're taking a look at what they found, mixed in with a little bird palette inspiration.

It has always been thought that the bird made the color, but now scientist have found that the color of a bird's feathers can have a dramatic impact on a bird's physiology.

"The traditional view is that internal processes of birds determine their external features -- in other words, physiology forms the feathers," said Kevin McGraw, an assistant professor at ASU's School of Life Sciences. "But our results indicate that a perceived change in the color of an animal can directly affect its internal physiological state. A barn swallow's hormonal profile is influenced by its outward appearance."

2518459796_61bc008f19.jpg    Lilac-breasted Rolle
The Lilac-breasted Roller, Coracias caudataus, is a member of the roller family of birds. It is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, preferring open woodland and savanna; it is largely absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, frogs, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level.

 

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"In the animal world, sexual signals by males -- from the antlers of elk to the gaudy tail feathers of peacocks -- have evolved to convey honest, accurate information about the animal, McGraw said. Evolutionary biologists believe the top males in a population can afford the physiological costs of expressing the most exaggerated forms of sexual signals, like a conspicuous dark feather color that is either biochemically costly to produce or makes those individuals more susceptible to predators, he said."

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Kimono: A Japanese Tradition Of Color

Kimono: A Japanese Tradition Of Color


When tourists visit Japan, one of the moments that they are usually hoping to capture in a photograph is a geisha in her full kimono. Although most people associate kimono with these beautiful cultural icons, the garment is in fact the national costume of Japan and worn in various incarnations by most of its residents. The origin of the word kimono actually comes from Ki (wearing) and Mono (thing), directly translating to "thing to wear". The T-shaped garment has an illustrious past, dating all the way back to the fifth century.

The earliest kimonos were actually directly influenced by traditional clothing of China. The garment actually has another name, "ganfuka", which translates directly to "clothes of Wu". It wasn't until the 8th century that kimono truly came into style, however, and the overlapping collar because a predominant part of the fashion.

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Photo by roger jones

During Japan's Heian period (794-1192), kimono became increasingly stylized and elaborate, sometimes incorporating as many as ten layers of robes in varying colors beneath the top layer. Women also grew their hair to incredible lengths which complemented the long lines of the robes, resulting in one of the most striking and memorable presentations of the kimono over the years.

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Genetically Modified Color: GloFish

Genetically Modified Color: GloFish


I guess there weren't enough colors in the ocean.

When scientist first started working to genetically modify Zebra fish, it was in the hopes that a small mutation would allow the fish to identify certain pollutants in waterways wherever they were introduced.

In 1999, Dr. Zhiyuan Gong and his colleagues at the National University of Singapore extracted the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene from a jellyfish that naturally produced bright green bioluminescence. They inserted the gene into the zebrafish genome, causing the fish to glow brightly under both natural white light and ultraviolet light. Their goal was to develop a fish that could detect pollution by selectively fluorescing in the presence of environmental toxins. The development of the always fluorescing fish was the first step in this process. Shortly thereafter, his team developed a line of red fluorescent zebra fish by adding a gene from a sea coral, and yellow fluorescent zebra fish, by adding a variant of the jellyfish gene. Later, a team of Taiwanese researchers at the National University of Taiwan, headed by Professor Huai-Jen Tsai (蔡懷禎), succeeded in creating a medaka (rice fish) with a fluorescent green color.

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The fish were first introduced into the U.S. market in 2003 after FDA approval:

Because tropical aquarium fish are not used for food purposes, they pose no threat to the food supply. There is no evidence that these genetically engineered zebra danio fish pose any more threat to the environment than their unmodified counterparts which have long been widely sold in the United States. In the absence of a clear risk to the public health, the FDA finds no reason to regulate these particular fish.
- FDA

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Colorful ‘Kids’ Toys

Colorful ‘Kids’ Toys


These toys might not all be color themed, though some definitely are, here are few of the more 'colorful' toys you can pick up for your little COLOURlover.

AMK Modular Sound Toy

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'AMK' is a modular sound toy for preschooler children. In the interaction with the comptuer, single sounds and entire sets can be transferres to sounds blocks called 'klangbausteine'. The children can independently play and combine the sounds through plugging these blocks. Only one sounds per block and age-based limited posibilities of sound modification afford a plain game and offers the children an orientation within the own system.

Color Wheel Puzzle

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Curious kids will marvel at the ways colors combine on our wooden color wheel. Includes 17 colored-wood puzzle pieces and a wood tray.

Easy-to-manipulate blocks provide endless possibilities for the creation of designs and patterns inside or outside of the wooden tray!

Great way to introduce child to the basic principles of both math and architecture, while encouraging both individual and group play.

Designed to teach basic color theory principals, and stimulate children's thought process of cause and effect by showing the result of color combinations.

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Classic Colors: Japanese Hand-Colored Photos

Classic Colors: Japanese Hand-Colored Photos


I came across this wonderfully interesting Flickr set the other day. A selection of 49 hand-colored photos of Meiji-era MAIKO and GEISHA in swimsuit fashions of the time. The photos are from a collection of 150 from the Flickr user Okinawa Soba. Obviously, it was the colors that first grabbed my attention, but the discovery led me to look a little more into the history of hand-colored photos.

The popularity of hand-colored photos peaked in the late 1800's and early 1900's but fell from their standing due to the development of color film. They were especially popular in Japan.

Hand-Coloring

Hand-colouring refers to any of a number of methods of manually adding colour to a black-and-white photograph or other image to heighten its realism. Typically, water-colours, oils and other paints or dyes are applied to the image surface using brushes, fingers, cotton swabs or airbrushes. Some photographic genres, particularly landscapes and portraits, have been more often hand-coloured than others, and hand-coloured photographs have been popular enough that some firms specialised in producing them.

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Photo from Okinawa Soba

Until the middle of the 20th century, nearly all photography was monochrome – essentially black-and-white, as exemplified by the gelatin silver print. Some photographic processes inherently produced images with an overall colour as, for example, the blue of cyanotypes, and photographic processes were altered by various techniques to produce variations in tone

Swiss painter and printmaker Johann Baptist Isenring used a mixture of gum arabic and pigments to make the first coloured daguerreotype in 1840 or 1841. The coloured powder was fixed on the delicate surface of the daguerreotype by the application of heat. Variations of this technique were patented in England by Richard Beard in 1842 and in France by Étienne Lecchi in 1842 and Léotard de Leuze in 1845. Later, hand-colouring was used with successive photographic innovations, from albumen and gelatin silver prints to lantern slides and transparency photography.

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Color Inspiration: Kites

Color Inspiration: Kites


Kites have always been a source of inspiration. Some of the greatest scientist and inventors used kites in many of their most famous experiments: Benjamin Franklin's Leyden jar experiments, and the Wright brothers' first attempts at maned flight, both involved kites. Today, kites are still a source of inspiration, and for color lovers, they are flying color palettes.

The kite was popularized about 2,800 years ago in China, where an abundant supply of superior materials were available; silk, for the sail and flying line, and bamboo, for the structure. However, it is believed that the first kite was invented by Chinese philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban in 5th century AD.

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Photo by bloxrot

Benjamin Franklin began using kites in 1752, and his experiments set the base for the next 150 years of meteorological study. Most famously were his experiments to figure out if the atmosphere worked similarly to a Leyden jar in the presence of an electrical charge.

"It's amazing that Franklin was not killed during this experiment, as others who tried to reproduce it were. Many people trying the experiment according to Franklin instructions were knocked on their butts. Even Franklin admits that he had killed many a turkey in his trials and had himself been knocked unconscious by a charge from one of his Leyden jars. He eventually learned to ground his wires." - Kite History

"...I found that by lying on my back and holding the stick in my hands. I was drawn along the surface of the water in a very agreeable manner. Having then engaged another boy to carry my clothes round the pond, to a place which I pointed out to him on the other side. I began to cross the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over without the least fatigue and with the greatest pleasure imaginable." - Benjamin Franklin

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Fish On! : Selecting The Best Lure Colors

Fish On! : Selecting The Best Lure Colors


One of the more colorful things that sometimes gets overlooked by many of us city folk, who only see nature and bodies of water when there is a popular video on YouTube of someone crashing their personal watercraft, are the carefully crafted colors of fishing lures. Special care is taken in the color selection by lure makers, as it is a very important part in catching the right fish in the right conditions.

Most fish, except for some of those in the deepest of darkest of oceans, where there is no light at all, can see colors, some even have four to five different cones making their ability to see color even greater than our own. While there is some, but not much, evidence that fish have a particular tendency towards red, there is more to selecting the right color of lure than just picking the one with the palette you like best. So, if you ever get a chance leave you computer behind and head out to the lake, we've put together a guide to help you make the right color choice when selecting a lure.

 

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Photo by eaglemac

 

In order to select the best lure color palette there are a few things that need to be considered, such as: Water depth and clarity, season, and the time of day.

Here is a wonderful article, with great graphics that I really wanted to steal for this post, that you should check out for more information: Exploding The Myths With Some Truths About Lure Color, by Greg Vinall.

Water Depth

 

The consensus is that on sunny days brighter colors are the best option, and on cloudy days, darker more natural colors should be used. This is because the various light wavelengths are absorbed at different rates in water, longer wavelengths, like reds, are absorbed easily where as shorter ones, like violet, are absorbed much more slowly and can penetrate into deeper water. So, the farther down your lure goes the fewer and fewer colors will be seen by the fish.

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Betty™: Color For The Hair Down There

Betty™: Color For The Hair Down There


Oh, the palette possibilities.

Bringing to life yet another, on an already very long list of euphemism for something located in the happy-time-fun-zone, things which already have perfectly fine names, is Betty, a hair dye for those such areas; your pubic hair.

Betty products are, according to the company's website, "specially formulated color dyes for the hair down there." You can get your Betty in Blonde, Brown, Aurburn and Black, as well as colors called Malibu, Fun and Starburst.

An article in Advertising Age (must be registered on AdAge to read, or find it in the press section of bettybeauty.com) describes how Betty came to be: the creator, Nanci Jarecki, first had the idea when visiting a salon in Rome where she witnessed female customers being handed little brown bags, with "such delight," as they left the salon. In those bags, dye to match their Bettys to their Wilmas. From there, the research and development began with casual studies by a gynecologist, who reported that not one person had matching hair down there, and salon workers, who reported that many customers were interested but had "sensitivity" concerns.

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Story Related Section of René Magritte's The Eternally Obvious; photo by wallyg

Currently Betty is available at 300 retail salons and online, and with its highly interesting subject matter, Betty has picked up a bit of press with mentions from DailyCandy.com, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The Oprah Magazine.

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Classic Colors: Warner Brothers Cartoons

Classic Colors: Warner Brothers Cartoons


In 1935 we were introduced to Porky Pig, he was just the first in the long history of classic characters from the Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes series.

Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies were essentially the same series. They both used the same reoccurring characters from the Warner Brothers' collection, and only the theme music and title frames differentiated the two. However, Merry Melodies was the first one to be produced in color, and it wasn't until 1943 that color was added to Looney Tunes.

In 1967 Warner Brothers had all the original black-and-white Looney Tunes sent out to Korea to be retraced with color frame by frame. Later, in the 1990's the cartoons were re-released, this time using digital coloring methods.

Though much controversy surrounds Looney Tunes, because of racial stereotypes from the WWII era, the colors and characters will always live fondly in our hearts because of their part in the creative history of American animation.

Classic Looney Tunes Characters

porky_pig.jpg    Porky Pig
"Go-go-go-go-go-go-good mo-mo-mo-mo-[gets honked at by a car behind him] ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT!! Hello."
  
The character was designed by animator Bob Clampett and introduced in the short I Haven't Got a Hat (first released on March 2, 1935), directed by Friz Freleng. Studio head Leon Schlesinger suggested that Freleng do a cartoon version of the popular Our Gang films. Porky only has a minor role in the film, but the fat little stuttering pig quickly became popular. Porky's name came from two brothers who were childhood classmates of Freleng's, nicknamed "Porky" and "Piggy".
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Colorful Summer Accessories: Sunglasses + Hats

Colorful Summer Accessories: Sunglasses + Hats


There is no better time to show off color than during the summer, and many designers are doing just that. Taking the cue of the summer season, designers are creating some very inspiring color palettes for us to enjoy.

Hats

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Still Life

Since its inception in Fall 2006, the Still Life flagship store has been home to an eclectic range of original designs- envisioned and tailored to perfection-by creative director and owner, Frenel Morris. Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, Still Life provides each client with custom hand-crafted pieces. An on-site seamstress ensures that each product is carefully assembled in a timely manner with keen attention to detail.

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Still Life

Still Life will vertically integrate its production model by opening its very own millinery factory located in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The Still Life Reserve will guarantee control and precision of all our products from sketch to finish. We hope that with this expansion, the brand's visibility will continue to grow- gaining continued support from the local neighborhood, loyal clientele- and spur domestic and international interest.

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