Presentation Title

Analysis of Feather Colouration in American Redstarts Using Tetrahedral Colour Space Models

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Presenter Information

Genevieve WardFollow

Abstract

The dichromatic colouration displayed in many bird species suggests a relationship between colouration and sexual preference, particularly in species that display bold male colouration and exhibit female preference for potential mates. However, research on bird colouration is complicated by avian vision traits; while humans possess trichromatic colour vision, most avian species possess tetrachromatic vision. The additional functioning cone found in avian eyes allows them to see a broader range of light wavelengths, including colours in the UV range, thus potentially changing how colours are viewed by birds compared to humans. This study will attempt to compare two methods used for analyzing data on feather colouration obtained through colour reflection spectrometry: principal component analysis (PCA) (using brightness, hue, and chroma as three colour variables), and tetrahedral colour space models using pavo, a package designed for R software that allows for spectral colour data analysis. Feathers from American Redstarts will be analyzed through reflection spectrometry, and the resulting data will be analyzed using principal component analysis and tetrahedral colour space models; the results can eventually be compared with paternity data obtained through DNA analysis.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Matt Reudink

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Analysis of Feather Colouration in American Redstarts Using Tetrahedral Colour Space Models

The dichromatic colouration displayed in many bird species suggests a relationship between colouration and sexual preference, particularly in species that display bold male colouration and exhibit female preference for potential mates. However, research on bird colouration is complicated by avian vision traits; while humans possess trichromatic colour vision, most avian species possess tetrachromatic vision. The additional functioning cone found in avian eyes allows them to see a broader range of light wavelengths, including colours in the UV range, thus potentially changing how colours are viewed by birds compared to humans. This study will attempt to compare two methods used for analyzing data on feather colouration obtained through colour reflection spectrometry: principal component analysis (PCA) (using brightness, hue, and chroma as three colour variables), and tetrahedral colour space models using pavo, a package designed for R software that allows for spectral colour data analysis. Feathers from American Redstarts will be analyzed through reflection spectrometry, and the resulting data will be analyzed using principal component analysis and tetrahedral colour space models; the results can eventually be compared with paternity data obtained through DNA analysis.