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Opportunity: Project Plumage

Commitment: 
Flexible
Opportunity description: 

Help us measure the spectacular diversity of bird colouration

With approximately 10,000 living species, birds are one of the most diverse groups of animals on earth. One characteristic that makes birds so fascinating is their spectacular colouration. From the striking iridescence of hummingbirds to the vibrant colours of macaws, birds have evolved an astounding diversity of colours and patterns.

In addition to the colours that we can see, many bird species can also perceive light in the ultraviolet (UV) range of the spectrum. The discovery that many birds see and respond to UV colouration has had a significant impact on how researchers now measure bird plumage colouration, as well as on our understanding of how birds see each other.

Our team is hoping to measure the dazzling array of plumage colouration in birds to gain a better understanding of how and why spectacular animal colouration evolves. Some of the key questions we hope to answer are:

Just how colourful are birds?
How quickly does plumage colour evolve?
Are evolutionary changes in plumage colour associated with the origin of new species?

Location: 
You can do this in your own home
Categories: 

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