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Proceedings Paper

Complex optical structure in the ribbon-like feathers of the African open-bill stork
Author(s): Jean Pol Vigneron; Virginie Lousse; Jean-François Colomer; Marie Rassart; Michel Louette
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Paper Abstract

The structural origin of the weak iridescence from the very peculiar ribbon-shaped feathers of the African open-bill stork, Anastomus lamelligerus (Ciconiidae) is investigated, using a combination of spectrophotometry, electron microscopy, and theoretical modelling. The cortex of these feathers can be described as a slab of keratin, transformed into a multilayer by the insertion of thin parallel planes containing harder nodules, disposed sideby- side and oriented along the feather axis. These nodules each show a sperically capped cylindrical shape. An empty cylindrical channel - the vacuole - occupies the long axis of the nodule. These nodules act in a collective and individual way to produce the frequency selection giving rise to the observed dark-green coloration of these special feathers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6320, Complex Photonic Media, 632014 (14 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.682250
Show Author Affiliations
Jean Pol Vigneron, Univ. Notre-Dame de la Paix (Belgium)
Virginie Lousse, Univ. Notre-Dame de la Paix (Belgium)
Stanford Univ. (United States)
Jean-François Colomer, Univ. Notre Dame de la Paix (Belgium)
Marie Rassart, Univ. Notre Dame de la Paix (Belgium)
Michel Louette, Royal Museum for Central Africa (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6320:
Complex Photonic Media
Graeme Dewar; Martin W. McCall; Mikhail A. Noginov; Nikolay I. Zheludev, Editor(s)

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