Data from: Modular color evolution facilitated by a complex nanostructure in birds

Chad M. Eliason, Rafael Maia & Matthew D. Shawkey
The way in which a complex trait varies, and thus evolves, is critically affected by the independence, or modularity, of its subunits. How modular designs facilitate phenotypic diversification is well studied in non-ornamental (e.g., cichlid jaws), but not ornamental traits. Diverse feather colors in birds are produced by light absorption by pigments and/or light scattering by nanostructures. Such structural colors are deterministically related to the nanostructures that produce them and are therefore excellent systems to...
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