Journal article

The biology of color

Innes C Cuthill, William L Allen, Kevin Arbuckle, Barbara Caspers, George Chaplin, Mark E Hauber, Geoffrey E Hill, Nina G Jablonski, Chris D Jiggins, Almut Kelber, Johanna Mappes, Justin Marshall, Richard Merrill, Daniel Osorio, Richard Prum, Nicholas W Roberts, Alexandre Roulin, Hannah M Rowland, Thomas N Sherratt, John Skelhorn Show all



Coloration mediates the relationship between an organism and its environment in important ways, including social signaling, antipredator defenses, parasitic exploitation, thermoregulation, and protection from ultraviolet light, microbes, and abrasion. Methodological breakthroughs are accelerating knowledge of the processes underlying both the production of animal coloration and its perception, experiments are advancing understanding of mechanism and function, and measurements of color collected noninvasively and at a global scale are opening windows to evolutionary dynamics more generally. Here we provide a roadmap of these advances and identify hitherto unrecognized challenges for this mult..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Awarded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin for financial and logistical support in hosting the workshop where these ideas were formulated; we also thank two reviewers. I.C.C. and L.T. were funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant EP/M006905/1), and I.C.C. and J.S. were funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (grants BB/M002780/1 and BB/N006569/1). With the exception of the first and last authors, who organized the workshop and coordinated the manuscript preparation, all authors contributed equally and are listed alphabetically.