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The Iridescence of a Bird-of-Paradise

Jülich, 19 March 2014 – For biologists, birds-of-paradise with their dazzling, colourful feathers and their distinctive mating dances have long been a research object of interest. Now, a team of physicists has used computers to simulate the complex optical properties of the neck and breast feathers of the bird-of-paradise Lawes’ parotia. Jülich professor Kristel Michielsen and scientists from the University of Groningen report in the journal PNAS that the results of their simulation are in excellent agreement with previously measured light-scattering patterns and reflectance spectra.

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