1 Word Wednesday

20 January 2010

The word of the day is, “bogus” :

“If there is one color that is most decidedly not a classic Earth tone, one that is least associated with living things, it might just be neon blue.”  – Carol Kaesuk Yoon “Luminous 3-D Jungle Is a Biologist’s DreamNew York Times January 18, 2010

See also: Glaucus and Porpita, Blue Morpho, Sailfish, Blue-tailed Skink, William’s Electric Blue Gecko, a whole mess of Cichlids, Hyacinth Macaw, oh yeah and whatever the hell this is supposed to be.

Likewise, (watch to the end if you haven’t seen this before):

4 Responses to “1 Word Wednesday”

  1. Jessica Says:

    Neil, I SEE you.

  2. Kari Says:

    Exept the “Oh yeah and whatever the hell this is supposed to be” I dont recall any blue mammals. At least with blue furs. Even blue whales are just reflecting the blue around them, I guess.

    • Neil Says:

      Mammals are — with a few notable exceptions — remarkably drab animals. This is probably because most mammals have poor color vision, and bright colors are generally associated with warning or display at least among terrestrial animals. To my knowledge there are no bright blue or bright green mammals and red mammals are more rusty than vermillion or scarlet.

      Various primate species (which do have good color vision) have bright blue (and red) skin on the face or genitals. Various cetaceans (including the Blue Whale) are genuinely bluish, though not bright blue, even when they are out of the water. There are lots of domestic animal breeds which are said to be “blue” but are generally really some shade of gray.

      Mammals aside, I still think it’s pretty silly, especially for someone trained as an entomologist, to claim that bright blue is rare or unusual among living organisms on Earth.


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