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Data from: Directional reflectance and milli-scale feather morphology of the African Emerald Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx cupreus

Citation

Harvey, Todd Alan; Bostwick, Kimberly S.; Marschner, Steve (2013), Data from: Directional reflectance and milli-scale feather morphology of the African Emerald Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx cupreus, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.332b5

Abstract

Diverse plumages have evolved among birds through complex morphological modifications. We investigate how the interplay of light with surface and subsurface feather morphology determines the direction of light propagation, an understudied aspect of avian visual signalling. We hypothesize that milli-scale modifications of feathers produce anisotropic reflectance, the direction of which may be predicted by the orientation of the milli-scale structure. The subject of this study is the African Emerald Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx cupreus, noted for its shimmering green iridescent appearance. Using a spherical gantry, we measured the change in the directional reflectance across the feather surface and over a hemisphere of incident lighting directions. Using a microCT scanner, we also studied the morphology of the structural branches of the barb. We tracked the changes in the directional reflectance to the orientation of the structural branches as observed in the CT data. We conclude that (i) the far-field signal of the feather consists of multiple specular components, each associated with a different structural branch and (ii) the direction of each specular component is correlated to the orientation of the corresponding structure.

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Location

W. Uganda
Lat 0.583333 Lon 30.333333
Kibale Forest
Africa
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