Why some birds of paradise have ultrablack feathers

Tilt in spiky microstructures generates the birds’ exceedingly dark coloring

Ptiloris paradiseus

BIRDS OF A FEATHER  The bird of paradise species Ptiloris paradiseus sports velvety, ultradark feathers next to its bright blue-green plumage. Microstructures in the black feathers, which help increase how much light is absorbed, are responsible for the extremely dark color.

B.G. Thomson/Science Source

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