Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 7:30pm - 9:00pm
104 Kirby Hall of Civil Rights
Michael Butler, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

“Colorful Animals in a Challenging World”

While nature might be red in tooth and claw, it is also filled with orange hairs, green scales, and blue feathers. This variation in animal coloration manifests as impressive levels of camouflage, ostentatious demands for attention, and everything in between. So why do animals produce such a range of colors, and how can they actually achieve this variation in coloration? In this talk, we’ll explore some of the animal kingdom’s gaudiest displays, and discuss the diversity of mechanisms that animals use to produce colorful structures. Because there are costs and benefits of producing these colors, some animals manage to be more colorful than others. In particular, when an animal faces challenges posed by the environment, it may have a more difficult time producing or maintaining its coloration. Such links between the challenges an animal faces and its resulting coloration have advanced our understanding within multiple sub-disciplines, including evolution, behavioral ecology, and physiology, exemplifying the power of examining the biology of animal coloration. And at the very least, you’ll also see a few really pretty pictures. 

Sponsored by: 
Office of the Provost