“The Biology of Color”—New Study Explores Advances and Challenges in Field of Animal Coloration

Scientists are on a threshold of a new era of color science due largely to an explosion of technologies, but key questions remain for the field, according to a study published in the August 4, 2017 issue of Science by an international team of researchers led by Dr. Tim Caro of the University of California (UC), Davis. While studies have long used color as a factor for understanding evolution, only recently have visual physiologists, sensory and behavioral ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and anthropologists come together to study how color is produced and perceived by animals and its function and patterns of evolution. With this wide-ranging synthesis in Science, entitled "The Biology of Color," such a multidisciplinary group provides a roadmap of advances in the field of animal coloration, as well as citing remaining challenges. "In the past 20 years, the field of animal coloration research has been propelled forward very rapidly by technological advances," said corresponding author Dr. Caro, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. "These include digital imaging, innovative laboratory and field studies, and large-scale comparative analyses, each of which is allowing completely new questions to be asked."
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