Conspicuous eggs and colourful hypotheses: testing the role of multiple influences on avian eggshell appearance

Phillip Cassey*, Golo Maurer, P. George Lovell, Daniel Hanley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The diversity of eggshell colours and patterning across different birds is a fascinating example of the extended avian phenotype. The avian egg's background colours range from light greenyyellow to brilliant blue and intense maroon, and with the scrawling patterns comparable to the assortment of eggs found in an Easter Bunny's basket. Here we briefly introduce the diversity of eggshell appearance, its perplexingly narrow chemical basis, and clarify how the a priori assessment of assumptions and potential hypotheses can shape new eggshell research. In addition, we highlight some of the recent hypotheses developed outside the visual paradigm that has dictated the most influential hypotheses of eggshell appearance to date. Finally, we indicate priority areas for future comprehensive research on eggshells based on adaptations to ongoing changes in environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalAvian Biology Research
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

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eggshell
hypothesis testing
egg shell
egg
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color
phenotype
environmental conditions
bird
environmental factors
birds

Cite this

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title = "Conspicuous eggs and colourful hypotheses: testing the role of multiple influences on avian eggshell appearance",
abstract = "The diversity of eggshell colours and patterning across different birds is a fascinating example of the extended avian phenotype. The avian egg's background colours range from light greenyyellow to brilliant blue and intense maroon, and with the scrawling patterns comparable to the assortment of eggs found in an Easter Bunny's basket. Here we briefly introduce the diversity of eggshell appearance, its perplexingly narrow chemical basis, and clarify how the a priori assessment of assumptions and potential hypotheses can shape new eggshell research. In addition, we highlight some of the recent hypotheses developed outside the visual paradigm that has dictated the most influential hypotheses of eggshell appearance to date. Finally, we indicate priority areas for future comprehensive research on eggshells based on adaptations to ongoing changes in environmental conditions.",
author = "Phillip Cassey and Golo Maurer and Lovell, {P. George} and Daniel Hanley",
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Conspicuous eggs and colourful hypotheses : testing the role of multiple influences on avian eggshell appearance. / Cassey, Phillip; Maurer, Golo; Lovell, P. George; Hanley, Daniel.

In: Avian Biology Research, Vol. 4, No. 4, 01.12.2011, p. 185-195.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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T1 - Conspicuous eggs and colourful hypotheses

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AU - Cassey, Phillip

AU - Maurer, Golo

AU - Lovell, P. George

AU - Hanley, Daniel

PY - 2011/12/1

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AB - The diversity of eggshell colours and patterning across different birds is a fascinating example of the extended avian phenotype. The avian egg's background colours range from light greenyyellow to brilliant blue and intense maroon, and with the scrawling patterns comparable to the assortment of eggs found in an Easter Bunny's basket. Here we briefly introduce the diversity of eggshell appearance, its perplexingly narrow chemical basis, and clarify how the a priori assessment of assumptions and potential hypotheses can shape new eggshell research. In addition, we highlight some of the recent hypotheses developed outside the visual paradigm that has dictated the most influential hypotheses of eggshell appearance to date. Finally, we indicate priority areas for future comprehensive research on eggshells based on adaptations to ongoing changes in environmental conditions.

U2 - 10.3184/175815511X13207699868421

DO - 10.3184/175815511X13207699868421

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