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In colorful avian world, hummingbirds have the widest breadth of colorful plumage

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Yale ornithologist Richard Prum has spent years studying the molecules and nanostructures that give many bird species their rich colorful plumage, but nothing prepared him for what he found in hummingbirds.

The range of colors in the plumage of hummingbirds exceeds the color diversity of all other bird species in total, Prum and a team of researchers report June 23 in the journal Communications Biology.

"We knew that hummingbirds were colorful, but we never imagined that they would rival all the rest of the birds combined," said Prum, the William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.



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