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Conspicuous, ultraviolet-rich mouth colours in begging chicks

Hunt, Sarah; Kilner, Rebecca; Langmore, Naomi; Bennett, Andrew TD


There is as yet no clear consensus on the function of vivid mouth colours in begging chicks. A major obstacle to our understanding has been that no studies have measured gape colours independently of human colour perception. Here, we present the first study, to our knowledge, to use UV-VIS spectrometry to quantify the gape colour, background nest colour and nest light environment of eight European passerines. Both mouths and the surrounding flanges show striking and previously unreported peaks...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2003
Type: Journal article
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences


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