Skip to main content
Harvard University Press - home
Bird Coloration, Volume 2: Function and Evolution

Bird Coloration, Volume 2: Function and Evolution

Edited by Geoffrey E. Hill and Kevin J. McGraw

ISBN 9780674021761

Publication date: 03/01/2006

Request exam copy

In this companion volume to Bird Coloration, Volume 1: Mechanisms and Measurements, Geoffrey E. Hill and Kevin J. McGraw have assembled some of the world’s leading experts in the function and evolution of bird coloration to contribute to a long-overdue synthesis of a burgeoning field of inquiry. In Volume 2, the authors turn from the problem of how birds see and produce color, and how researchers measure it, to the function of the colorful displays of birds and the factors that shape the evolution of color signals.

The contributors to this volume begin by examining the function of coloration in a variety of contexts from mate choice, to social signaling, to individual recognition, synthesizing a vast amount of recent findings by researchers around the world. The volume and the series conclude with chapters that consider coloration from an explicitly evolutionary perspective, examining selective pressures that have led to the evolution of colors and patterns on body and plumage. These functional and evolutionary studies build from research on mechanisms of production and controls of expression, covered in the previous volume, bringing the study of color full circle.

This sumptuously illustrated book will be essential reading for biologists studying animal coloration, but it will also be treasured by anyone curious about why birds are colorful and how they got that way.

Praise

  • The aim of Bird Coloration is to provide a flavour of the extent to which birds have exploited the sun’s rays… These two volumes also delve deeper into the disparate ways in which bird colours are produced, what purpose they perform, their effect on communities in general, and finally, how they got here in the first place—their evolution… The reference lists alone are priceless… Bird Coloration will appeal to students of, and researchers in, evolution in general, because the devices that cause colour are often considered as phenotypes. Those interested in ecology, animal behaviour and vision studies will benefit, too… And if further incentive is needed to buy these books, just flick through the colour sections.

    —Andrew R. Parker, Times Literary Supplement

Authors

  • Geoffrey E. Hill is Alumni Professor of Biological Sciences, Auburn University.
  • Kevin J. McGraw is Assistant Professor of Life Sciences, Arizona State University.

Book Details

  • 528 pages
  • 1-1/2 x 6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

Recommendations