Flame Bowerbird in Bower animal art

Flame Bowerbird in Bower animal art

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A flame Bowerbird (Sericulus aureus) in the Bower it has built of twigs and painted with mud, awaiting the arrival of a female. The structure will be used to impress a female - together with a carefully orchestrated display of dance and a collection of bright blue berries and leaves he has bought to the bower for the purpose. His bright red and yellow plumage indicates a healthy and metabolically expensive production of carotenoid and porphyrin pigments that also show his health status. All this depends on excellent colour vision and what may be called an "aesthetic sense". The female is dull green, and flame Bowerbird is a particularly extreme example of sexual selection and sexual dimorphism in plumage and behaviour. A successfull male may be chosen by many females and become father of many chicks. He will take no part in their upbringing.

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Keywords: aesthetics, animal, architecture, art, beautiful, bird, bower, bowerbird, building, carotenoid, color, colour, courtship, darwin, display, esthetics, fitness, flame, mating, new guinea, papua, pigment, porphyrin, red, sericulus aureus, sexual selection, vision, yellow

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