14 September 2006 Complex optical structure in the ribbon-like feathers of the African open-bill stork
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Proceedings Volume 6320, Complex Photonic Media; 632014 (2006); doi: 10.1117/12.682250
Event: SPIE Optics + Photonics, 2006, San Diego, California, United States
Abstract
The structural origin of the weak iridescence from the very peculiar ribbon-shaped feathers of the African open-bill stork, Anastomus lamelligerus (Ciconiidae) is investigated, using a combination of spectrophotometry, electron microscopy, and theoretical modelling. The cortex of these feathers can be described as a slab of keratin, transformed into a multilayer by the insertion of thin parallel planes containing harder nodules, disposed sideby- side and oriented along the feather axis. These nodules each show a sperically capped cylindrical shape. An empty cylindrical channel - the vacuole - occupies the long axis of the nodule. These nodules act in a collective and individual way to produce the frequency selection giving rise to the observed dark-green coloration of these special feathers.
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Jean Pol Vigneron, Virginie Lousse, Jean-François Colomer, Marie Rassart, Michel Louette, "Complex optical structure in the ribbon-like feathers of the African open-bill stork", Proc. SPIE 6320, Complex Photonic Media, 632014 (14 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.682250; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.682250
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KEYWORDS
Reflection

Reflectivity

Absorption

Refractive index

Scanning electron microscopy

Visible radiation

Dielectrics

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