Modelling eggshell maculation

Pike, Thomas W. (2015) Modelling eggshell maculation. Avian Biology Research, 8 (4). pp. 237-243. ISSN 1758-1559

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The eggshells of many avian species are characterised by distinctive patterns of maculation, consisting of speckles, spots, blotches or streaks, the spatial-statistical properties of which vary considerably between (and often within) species. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the production of eggshell maculation would enable us to explore the costs and constraints on the evolution of maculation patterns, but as yet this area is surprisingly understudied. Here I present a simple model of eggshell maculation, which is based on the known biology of pigment deposition, and which can produce a range of realistic maculation patterns. In particular, it provides an explanation for previous observations of maculation heterogeneity and diversity, and allows testable predictions to be made regarding maculation patterns, including a possible signalling role.

Keywords:biology, bird, egg shell, model, pigmentation, prediction, species, NotOAChecked
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:20209
Deposited On:01 Apr 2016 13:07

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