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Parrot Plumage Color May Be Linked to Body Size and Climate

Spectacular plumage color like that seen in many parrot species is usually associated sexual selection, which raises the question: are parrots genuinely monogamous? Or are other factors influencing their dazzling colors?

by GrrlScientist for Forbes | Twitter | Newsletter

NOTE: This piece was a Forbes Editor’s pick.

F I G U R E 7. Parrots and cockatoos with more elaborate colours have lower levels of sexual dichromatism. Phylogeny of Psittaciformes depicting a reconstruction of evolutionary changes in male colour elaboration (branch colours, red = high, blue = low) using function contMap in R package β€œphytools” v.0.6–99 (Revell, 2012) and levels of sexual dichromatism (bar lengths at the tips). Note how species with low levels of colour elaboration have higher levels of sexual dichromatism. The plot is based on one phylogeny in the sample, but comparative analyses were carried out on 1000 phylogenetic reconstructions to account for phylogenetic uncertainty. Selected genera have been highlighted and species in illustrations are represented with red bars. Illustrations Β© Lynx Edicions. (doi:10.1111/jeb.13690)

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𝐆𝐫𝐫π₯π’πœπ’πžπ§π­π’π¬π­, scientist & writer

𝐆𝐫𝐫π₯π’πœπ’πžπ§π­π’π¬π­, scientist & writer

PhD evolutionary ecology/ornithology. Psittacophile. scicomm Forbes, previously Guardian. always Ravenclaw. discarded scientist & writer, now an angry house elf