As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 28 February 2014

How birds' visual perception influences flower evolution

4 hours ago by Martin Burd

In Australia, honeyeaters are far and away the most abundant and important nectar-feeding birds, so also the most important avian pollinators of flowers.

What effect has their visual perception had on the evolution of colour among the flowers they visit?

Today, a team of biologists from Monash (including me) and RMIT universities in Melbourne and Bucknell University in the US published the most quantitative and rigorous investigation of this question to date.

We used mathematical models of bird vision to represent the colours of Australian flowers as birds are likely to see them.

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