News of the WeekEvolution

Colorful Males Flaunt Their Health

Science  04 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5616, pp. 29-31
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5616.29

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Female birds of many species are attracted to particularly colorful males. Now two research teams provide experimental evidence that bill color, which is determined by pigments called carotenoids, is a true indicator of the male's fitness because carotenoids help boost the immune system.