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A rainbow for the palm of your hand
University at Buffalo engineers have developed a one-step, low-cost method to fabricate a polymer that is rainbow-colored, reflecting many different wavelengths of light when viewed from a single perspective. The colors won't fade with time because they are produced by surface geometry, and not pigment -- the same principle that gives color to the wings of butterflies and feather of peacocks. (2012-02-23)

Testosterone causes men to desire luxury goods
Researchers examine testosterone's effect on men's desire for goods that are considered to have social cachet. (2018-07-03)

The new great wave
Radical Inkless Technology produces the world's smallest 'Ukiyo-e' and promises to revolutionize how we print. (2019-06-19)

The argument for sexual selection in bacteria
The evolutionary pressure to pass on DNA can produce behavior that otherwise makes no sense in a struggle to survive. Rams bash heads in fights over females; peacocks grow elaborate tail feathers that attract mates and predators alike. Sexual selection can sometimes explain phenomena that natural selection alone cannot. But could bacteria exhibit sexual selection? In an Opinion article published Sept. 4 in the journal Trends in Microbiology, researchers argue that some bacteria might. (2019-09-04)

Why do we choose our mates? Ask Charles Darwin, prof says
Charles Darwin wrote about it 150 years ago: animals don't pick their mates by pure chance -- it's a process that is deliberate and involves numerous factors. After decades of examining his work, experts agree that he pretty much scored a scientific bullseye, but a very big question is (2009-06-15)

Dive-bombing for love: Male hummingbirds dazzle females with a highly synchronized display
Male Broad-tailed Hummingbirds perform dramatic aerial courtship dives to impress females. In a new study, scientists have shown that diving males closely time key events to produce a burst of signals for the viewer. They synchronize maximal horizontal speed, loud noises generated with their tail feathers, and a display of their iridescent throat-patch (gorget), performed in a mere 300 milliseconds -- roughly the duration of a human blink. (2018-12-18)

Deep male voices not so much sexy as intimidating
Male voices are not deeply pitched in order to attract female mates, but instead serve to intimidate the competition, according to a team of researchers studying a wide variety of primates including humans. (2016-05-05)

Can we really tell male and female dinosaurs apart?
Scientists worldwide have long debated our ability to identify male and female dinosaurs. Now, research led by Queen Mary University of London has shown that despite previous claims of success, it's very difficult to spot differences between the sexes. (2020-05-12)

New barn swallow study reveals image makes the bird
In the world of birds, where fancy can be as fleeting as flight, the color of the bird apparently has a profound effect on more than just its image. A new study of barn swallows reveals it also affects the bird's physiology. (2008-06-02)

The mysterious case of the ornamented coot chicks has a surprising explanation
The American coot is a somewhat drab water bird with gray and black feathers and a white beak, common in wetlands throughout North America. Coot chicks, however, sport outrageously bright orange and red feathers, skin, and beaks. A new study explains how the bright coloring of coot chicks fits in with the reproductive strategy of their less colorful parents. (2019-12-30)

Chameleon inspires 'smart skin' that changes color in the sun
Chemists used photonic crystals to develop a flexible smart skin that reacts to heat and sunlight while maintaining a near constant volume. (2019-09-11)

Competition between males improves resilience against climate change
Animal species with males who compete intensively for mates might be more resilient to the effects of climate change, according to research by Queen Mary University of London. (2018-04-17)

How the zebrafish gets its stripes
Max Planck scientists uncover how beautiful color patterns can develop in animals. (2014-08-28)

Crickets on Hawaiian Island develop silent wings in response to parasitic attack
In only a few generations, the male cricket on Kauai underwent a mutation that rendered it incapable of using song, its sexual signal, to attract female crickets, according to a new study led by UC Riverside's Marlene Zuk, a professor of biology. Zuk's team found that even though the new male crickets' wings lack the file and scraper apparatus required for producing sound, the males are able to mate successfully with females, thus ensuring evolutionary success. (2006-09-22)

Females' Siren Song Initiates Courtship Duets In African Frogs, Columbia Biologists Find
When her eggs are ready to fertilize, the female South African clawed frog begins a clicking song that initiates a courtship duet with a nearby male that helps the partners find each other. It is among the rare instances in the animal kingdom where the female makes the first move. (1998-02-17)

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