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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
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EVOLUTION: How Feathers Get Their Patterns
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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
proved
complex enough. By applying reaction diffusion equations to the
production 
of within-feather patterns, Prum and Williamson have taken a step toward
a 
general theory of pattern development. The model successfully simulates
a 
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).

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-mpc
Michael Patrick Corriss