APRIL 2006

CLICK ON THE SMALL IMAGE FOR A LARGER DISPLAY. IF THE LARGER PICTURE IS TOO WIDE FOR YOUR SCREEN  - TRY HERE

PEACOCKS

Pictured in Keith on a nice sunny morning this magnificent bird looking quite regal and proud.
Click on the small picture to fill your screen with the glorious colours of the species.

In 1634, Sir Theodore de Mayerne, physician to Charles I, observed that the 'eyes' on the wings of the peacock
butterfly "shine curiously like stars, and do cast about them sparks of the colour of the Rainbow; by these marks
is it so known that it would be needless to describe the rest of the body though painted with a variety of colours."

What is a peacock feather up close?

Each feather consists of thousands of flat branches. When light shines on the feather, we see thousands of
glimmering coloured spots, each caused by minuscule bowl-shaped indentations. Stronger magnification reveals
microscopic lamellae (thin plate-like layers) at the bottom of the indentations Just like in butterfly wings,
the regular pattern of the lamellas leads to interference phenomena and thus to iridescent colours.
This principle is also responsible for varied colours of pheasants, birds of paradise and humming birds.

Extracts courtesy - webexhibits.org

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APRIL  2006

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