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Amazing Split Color Bird Is No Photoshopped Freak

Category: Animals · Posted on Monday, 29th December 2014
· Comments · 1455 views

+1


No, this bird didn't dye its feathers. The half-red, half-white plumage of this northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is the result of gynandromorphy. In other words its sex chromosomes did not segregate properly after fertilization, so the bird is half-male, half-female. Males are usually bright red all over while females are a more subdued white, but due to the developmental quirk, the bird's colors are split down the middle.

Cardinals with such plumage are rare so Brian Peer from Western Illinois University in Macomb and colleague Robert Motz observed it for over a year. They found that although the bird never found a mate and never belted out its characteristic trilling song, at least other birds didn't target it for its unusual looks.

#shareworthy #bird #cardinal #cardinals #hermaphrodite

Journal reference: The Wilson Journal of Ornithology DOI: 10.1676/14-025.1
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