A male great bustard displaying at dawn, when ambient light is richest in UV wavelengths, in Extremadura, Spain. The insert photo shows the pink colour of still undegraded porphyrins at the base of body feathers of a captive male bustard. Photo credits: Ismael Galván.

Why is pink the colour of virgin birds?

Ismael Galván of National Museum of Natural Sciences (Spain) uncovers to exciting role of porphyrin colouration and what it might mean in an ecological setting. This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown series Few things in nature are as … Continue reading Why is pink the colour of virgin birds?

The striking colouration on male mandrill's faces is a rare example of structural colouration in mammals

Why are some plants and animals more colourful than others?

Matthew Shawkey of Ghent University paints a colourful picture of the range of colouration techniques created by the natural world, and how these inspire technological advances to create new and exciting materials. This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown … Continue reading Why are some plants and animals more colourful than others?

Convergent optical illusions in colourful creatures

Dakota E. McCoy of Harvard University dazzles us with a tale of showy creatures and the complex world of ultra black colouration. This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown series Pop quiz: you are a male bird trying to … Continue reading Convergent optical illusions in colourful creatures

Laura (She/her) and Leslie (He/him) are PhD students of the Stuart-Fox lab

When Animals Wear Iridescence

Laura Ospina-Rozo and Leslie Ng both of University of Melbourne decipher the confusing and dazzling world of animal iridescence and how it may not all be as it seems This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown series Roses are … Continue reading When Animals Wear Iridescence

Images of the butterfly scales (left) and damselfly wing wax filaments (right) located in the white wing patch. These images were taken using a scanning electron microscope.

Insect mimicry: more than meets the eye

David Outomuro of University of Pittsburgh delves into the deceptive worlds of insect mimicry and explains why all may not be as it seems This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown series Have you ever noticed that bumblebees usually … Continue reading Insect mimicry: more than meets the eye

The representatives of the four major cephalopod groups include the living fossil Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius (Osprey Reef, Australia)) and 3 coleoids, cuttlefish (Sepia apama (Whyalla, Australia)), squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana (Moreton Bay, Australia) and octopus (Octopus sinensis (Aodi, Taiwan)) (Photos by Wen-Sung Chung).

Can cephalopods see what fishes see?

Wen-Sung Chung of the University of Queensland takes us on a deep dive into the complex and contradictory world of cephalopod vision and colour use. How are colour-blind animals able to display such a flamboyant variety of colours? Read on to find out This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural … Continue reading Can cephalopods see what fishes see?