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Paradise Pigments

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Many bird of paradise feathers get their colors from pigments. Almost all yellow, orange, red, brown, and black colors in birds are due to pigments. Pigments are chemicals that interact with light on a molecular level, absorbing white light and emitting only certain wavelengths. We look at the emitted wavelengths as the color of the feather. The makeup of the pigment molecules determines the color that is showed. Most of the red, orange, and yellow found in birds are due to chemicals called carotenoids. Most browns and blacks come from melanins, which is the same group that colors mammalian skin and hair. Pigment molecules are deposited in an irregular pattern of granules on the walls of the translucent keratin cortex. This makes up the …show more content…
They have survived thousands of years of hunting for their plumes by native New Guinea people. They also have survived periods of intense hunting for their plumes during the intense exporting times. In Darwin’s time beauty in the natural world was widely though as proof for the excellence of God’s creation. Male birds of paradise receive a lot more attention for their varieties of unusual behavior and beautiful appearance. The females are really the ones who deserve the credit for why their mates are called the ‘most beautiful and most wonderful’ of all the birds. Sexual selection plays a big central role in their evolutionary history. Charles Darwin came up with the process of sexual selection. With natural selection the relative differences in species with mating success are determined by the environment. With sexual selection, these differences in survival are determined by members of their own …show more content…
These birds have evolved not only with their unusual appearance but also with their unique relationships with the communities around them. Birds of paradise feathers have been collected for a long time. During the Victorian era, these birds were exported in large numbers to be worn by the hats of women in the west. Throughout New Guinea the people utilize the feathers of the birds and other parts of them for decoration. The New Guinea people use feathers and other body parts of animals as a way of displaying relationships. Its relating one’s status in the community and makes social statements through aesthetic displays. The hunters traditionally made sacrifices after a successful hunt. This concept was used as an ongoing relationship of give and take rather than one of pure

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