The evolution of signal design in manakin plumage ornaments

Stephanie Doucet, Daniel Mennill & Geoffrey Hill
Animal signals are characterized by two design components: efficacy (detectability) and content (message being conveyed). Selection for efficient signal perception should favor the evolution of traits that exhibit an optimal balance between these two design components. We examined the evolution of signal design in the colorful plumage ornaments of manakins (Aves: Pipridae). We used a model of avian color space to quantify how differences in plumage coloration would be perceived by a typical passerine bird...
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