Color Lessons from the Cotinga Bird
You don’t need to be a birdwatcher to appreciate the magnificent colors of the feathers of the male spangled cotinga flaunt. This bird finds its natural habitat in the canopy of the Amazonian Rainforest and has captivated the curiosity of scientists and bird fanatics for decades. Its dazzling blue body and deep red throat contain no pigment. The color effect is created by the shape of the material. This is known as structural coloration. Now researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) together with Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have found a way to imitate these biological nanostructures and potentially replace the pigments we use today.