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A Red Bird in a Brown BagThe Function and Evolution of Colorful Plumage in the House Finch$
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Geoffrey E. Hill

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148480.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 August 2021

Darwinism and Wallacism

Darwinism and Wallacism

A Brief Account of the Long History of the Study of Plumage Coloration

(p.3) Chapter 1 Darwinism and Wallacism
A Red Bird in a Brown Bag

Geoffrey E. Hill

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the history of the study of bird coloration, starting with the debates of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace in the 19th century. Although Darwin proposed the idea that ornamental coloration evolves under the pressure of female choice, this idea remained untested for plumage color until the 1990s, when research was conducted on mate choice experiments with House Finches. The chapter discusses why it took so long for the idea to be tested.

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, mate choice, sexual selection, history of science, plumage color, ornamental coloration

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