Sunday, April 08, 2018

Fluorescent Puffin Bills and Tetrachromacy

Serendipity. What a great thing among the scientifically curious.

Ornithologist Jamie Dunning’s serendipity compelled him to shine ultraviolet light on the already decorative bill of a puffin. And he saw something apparently not previously documented in the learned journals.

Birds, those opulent tetrachromats, are apparently up to their colorful shenanigans once again. We humans, humble trichromats that we are, just miss things sometimes. (It’s clearly not just the ability to fly that makes Naomi Hamilton Jealous of the Birds! But I digress.)

Read the story, behold the images, and mention it when you teach about colors and color mixing.

Puffin beaks are fluorescent and we had no idea.

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