Hummingbirds' rainbow colors come from pancake-shaped structures in their feathers

Posted by Douglas on

From Evolution © 2020 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

Signal evolution and morphological complexity in hummingbirds 

Hummingbirds are some of the most brightly-colored things in the entire world. Their iridescent feathers reflect light in a way that other birds can't match, and scientists weren't sure what made hummingbirds special. But a new study shows that while hummingbird feathers have the same basic makeup as other birds', the special shape of their pigment-containing structures enables them to reflect a rainbow of light.

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