Feathers and Beaks, Bars and Streaks – with Mark Riegner

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Date(s) - 04/26/2018
Time: - 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Natural History Institute

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Join us Thursday evening, April 26th (changed from Thursday, April 19th) at 7PM for Feathers and Beaks, Bars and Streaks: Form and Pattern in Birds with Mark Riegner.

Mark has a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and has been teaching in the Environmental Studies Department at Prescott College since 1988. His research focuses on questions concerning the diversity of avian plumage patterns. Why do similar, or even identical, plumage patterns repeatedly appear in distantly related groups while strikingly different plumage configurations are seen in closely related species? Why do some species have streaks while others have bars? Is there a relationship between plumage pattern and morphology, that is, form?


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Based on years of observations of birds in nature and in the literature, Mark has identified an empirically derived plumage-pattern trajectory that often varies with body size and morphology across the Class of birds. Furthermore, the trajectory repeats at various levels of biological organization, such as within genera and within families, and is predictable to a certain degree. The results of this research have been published in the journal “The Condor” (2008) as well as reported in “National Geographic Bird Coloration” (2010).

In this illustrated talk, Mark will review his earlier work on plumage pattern, as well as share his most recent questions and insights regarding the expression of color in the world of birds and beyond…

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