Recent Study Reveals The Quantum Truth Behind Parrot’s Colorful Feathers

Parrots boast some of the most vibrant and varied color palettes in the animal world and it seems they have quantum physics to thank in order to produce such a colorful appearance.

The Royal Society Open Science journal published the new research lately on the pigments found in the parrot’s feathers. It happens to be that the yellow feathers contain the same pigment molecules as that of red feathers just arranged differently.

The study reveals that unlike other birds, parrots don’t rely on what they eat to reflect that color of their feathers. Kasper Delhey ornithologist from Monash University says warm hues are instead a reason from a particular group of pigments called “Psittacofulvins”.

But exactly how these special pigments do their job has been secrecy. University of Otago physical chemist sent a delegation of researchers to work over the fresh study, according to which multicolored tail feather come from a yellow-naped Amazonian parrot (Amazonaauropalliata).

Using the latest technology called Raman Spectroscopy they observed the birds for their yellow and red patches and came to the conclusion taking help of the fact that molecules vibrate when enlightened by laser light. “Each molecule can have a number of different vibrations which make up a signature ‘chord’ and we detect that”, Mr. Barnsley said.

On that fact, the study revolves around the gnarly world of quantum physics. The energy gap tends to vary if you move molecules closer or further apart which affects the absorption of wavelengths and decides what wavelengths of light are absorbed, reflected or transmitted and that picks what color we see.

“Parrots are interesting because they’re one of the most colorful groups and we don’t know why”, Dr. Delhey said. And indeed there are many parrot lovers out there to know more log on to

Mr. Barnsley also noticed some parrot species’ feathers absorbed ultraviolet light during his study, which is invisible to the naked eye, and re-emitted it as visible colored light better known as fluorescence.

“Nature starts with simple materials and, through interactions which results in some really complex materials”, Mr. Barnsley said and also he said he can learn a lot from that. The vibration information reveals what the molecules are and what they’re up to in the sample of the study.

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