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Feather Patterns

Hello. FYI

>From  Editors' Choice: Highlights of the recent literature
SCIENCE, Volume 296, Issue 5569, dated May 3 2002
EVOLUTION: How Feathers Get Their Patterns
Andrew M. Sugden

The huge variety of color and pattern within the plumage of birds is the 
result of differential pigmentation both between and within individual 
feathers. The physiology and developmental anatomy of the pigmentation 
process itself is quite well understood, but the search for a set of 
general rules governing the actual pigmentation patterns within feathers 
has not been fruitful: The structural development of the feather has
complex enough. By applying reaction diffusion equations to the
of within-feather patterns, Prum and Williamson have taken a step toward
general theory of pattern development. The model successfully simulates
wide variety of the within-feather patterns found in nature--bars, 
chevrons, concentric circles, spots, etc.--and generates testable 
predictions about their evolution and the biochemistry of their 
development. -- AMS

Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 269, 781 (2002).


Michael Patrick Corriss