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A protean palette : colour materials and mixing in birds and butterflies

(2009) JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE. 6(suppl. 2). p.S221-S231
Author
Organization
Abstract
While typically classified as either 'structural' or 'pigmentary', bio-optical tissues of terrestrial animals are rarely homogeneous and typically contain both a structural material such as keratin or chitin and one or more pigments. These base materials interact physically and chemically to create colours. Combinations of structured base materials and embedded pigment molecules often interact optically to produce unique colours and optical properties. Therefore, to understand the mechanics and evolution of bio-optical tissues it is critical to understand their material properties, both in isolation and in combination. Here, we review the optics and evolution of coloured tissues with a focus on their base materials, using birds and butterflies as exemplar taxa owing to the strength of our current knowledge of colour production in these animals. We first review what is known of their base materials, and then discuss the consequences of these interactions from an optical perspective. Finally, we suggest directions for future research on colour optics and evolution that will be invaluable as we move towards a fuller understanding of colour in the natural world.
Keywords
structural colour, pigments, photonics, refractive index, STRUCTURAL COLORS, IRIDESCENT PLUMAGE, PIERID BUTTERFLIES, LIGHT-SCATTERING, FEATHER KERATIN, WING-SCALES, EVOLUTION, INTERFERENCE, REFLECTANCE, MECHANISMS

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Chicago
Shawkey, Matthew, Nathan I Morehouse, and Peter Vukusic. 2009. “A Protean Palette : Colour Materials and Mixing in Birds and Butterflies.” Journal of the Royal Society Interface 6 (suppl. 2): S221–S231.
APA
Shawkey, M., Morehouse, N. I., & Vukusic, P. (2009). A protean palette : colour materials and mixing in birds and butterflies. JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE, 6(suppl. 2), S221–S231. Presented at the Conference on Iridescence: More than meets the eye.
Vancouver
1.
Shawkey M, Morehouse NI, Vukusic P. A protean palette : colour materials and mixing in birds and butterflies. JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE. 2009;6(suppl. 2):S221–S231.
MLA
Shawkey, Matthew, Nathan I Morehouse, and Peter Vukusic. “A Protean Palette : Colour Materials and Mixing in Birds and Butterflies.” JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE 6.suppl. 2 (2009): S221–S231. Print.
@article{7176733,
  abstract     = {While typically classified as either 'structural' or 'pigmentary', bio-optical tissues of terrestrial animals are rarely homogeneous and typically contain both a structural material such as keratin or chitin and one or more pigments. These base materials interact physically and chemically to create colours. Combinations of structured base materials and embedded pigment molecules often interact optically to produce unique colours and optical properties. Therefore, to understand the mechanics and evolution of bio-optical tissues it is critical to understand their material properties, both in isolation and in combination. Here, we review the optics and evolution of coloured tissues with a focus on their base materials, using birds and butterflies as exemplar taxa owing to the strength of our current knowledge of colour production in these animals. We first review what is known of their base materials, and then discuss the consequences of these interactions from an optical perspective. Finally, we suggest directions for future research on colour optics and evolution that will be invaluable as we move towards a fuller understanding of colour in the natural world.},
  author       = {Shawkey, Matthew and Morehouse, Nathan I and Vukusic, Peter},
  issn         = {1742-5689},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE},
  keyword      = {structural colour,pigments,photonics,refractive index,STRUCTURAL COLORS,IRIDESCENT PLUMAGE,PIERID BUTTERFLIES,LIGHT-SCATTERING,FEATHER KERATIN,WING-SCALES,EVOLUTION,INTERFERENCE,REFLECTANCE,MECHANISMS},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Tempe, AZ, USA},
  number       = {suppl. 2},
  pages        = {S221--S231},
  title        = {A protean palette : colour materials and mixing in birds and butterflies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2008.0459.focus},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2009},
}

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