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Correlated evolution of white spots on ears and closed habitat preferences in felids

The pigmentation patterns of many carnivorous mammals comprise contrasting white patches of hair in different parts of the body whose evolution remains largely misunderstood. Some felids (Felidae) exhibit conspicuous white spots on the posterior part of the ears, while the ear color of others is uniform. On the basis that ear movement in felids has a role in intraspecific communication and that color contrast enhances detection, here it is hypothesized that white spots on ears may be...

Feather content of porphyrins in Eurasian eagle owl fledglings depends on body condition and breeding site quality

Porphyrins are pigments produced in most animal cells during the synthesis of heme, but their importance for external coloration is unclear. Owls are among the few animals that accumulate porphyrins in the integument, where it could serve as a means of signaling. Here authors hypothesized that the porphyrin content of feathers may depend on body condition and breeding site quality in Eurasian eagle owl fledglings.

Shape matters: colour patterns as signals of quality

Colour patterns, e.g. irregular, spotted or barred forms, are widespread in the animal kingdom, yet their potential role as signals of quality has been mostly neglected. However, a review of the published literature reveals that pattern itself is a promising signal of individual quality across species of many different taxa.