Bioscience

Carotenoids are cornerstone of bird’s vitality

February 13, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: ScienceDaily] – “What you see is what you get” often is the mantra in the highly competitive life of birds, as they use brilliant displays of color to woo females for mating. Now researchers are finding that carotenoids — the compounds responsible for amping up red, orange, and yellow colors of birds — also may play a role in color perception and in a bird’s ability to reproduce, making it a cornerstone in birds’ vitality.

These are among the findings presented by Kevin McGraw, an Arizona State University assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago. McGraw presented his findings Feb. 13 during a special session on evolutionary biology, called “Beyond the beagle: evolutionary approaches to the study of social behavior.”

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