Avian feather research

Avian feather research

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Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Avian feather research. Researchers Georg Pohland (left) and Peter Mullen (right), from the Alexander Koenig Research Institute and Museum of Zoology, Germany, holding aloft a museum specimen of a Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus). Pohland is also holding a laptop computer and a spectrophotometer (device with blue wire). These are used to measure the ultraviolet (UV) reflecting properties of the bird's feathers. The plumage of many bird species displays markings that are only visible under UV light, which birds can see.

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