My latest contribution to 10,000 Birds blog is a write up of some very interesting research that addresses the evolutionary history of the Penguin Tuxedo. Check it out. This post also has a handy-dandy downloadable PDF version of itself suitable for use in the classoom.

Also, if you haven’t read this yet, please check it out: Could you sustain the energy level required to be a teacher?


  1. #1 Collin
    September 15, 2011

    The article says there’s a way to deduce the feather colors of dinosaurs and extinct birds. Where can I read more about this?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    September 15, 2011

    Clarke, J. A. E. A. (2010). Fossil Evidence for Evolution of the Shape and Color of Penguin Feathers. Science, 330(NOVEMBER), 954-957.

    D’Alba, L., Saranathan, V., Clarke, J. A., Vinther, J. A., Prum, R. O., & Shawkey, M. D. (2011). Colour-producing {beta}-keratin nanofibres in blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) feathers. Biology letters, 7(4), 543-6. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.1163

    Maia, R., Macedo, R. H. F., & Shawkey, M. D. (2011). Nanostructural self-assembly of iridescent feather barbules through depletion attraction of melanosomes during keratinization. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society, rsif.2011.0456-. doi:10.1098/rsif.2011.0456