Fuelled by superstition but still beautiful


The fan tail of the peacock is one of the most stunning displays of aggression and mating that your likely to see anywhere. The Peacock open sits feather full out and rustles them.  It’s supposed to give the impression that the bird is enormous scary to its prey and to impress the Pea hens that come past, and they would like to make more pea fowl with one that everyone thinks of is the blue Indian iridescent peacock.

This appears weirdly metallic like the bird is somehow made of metal or something.They have their own style and beauty and much like the luxury chandeliers found at http://roccoborghese.com/ the appear to shimmer in the sunlight.

How does this metal plumage work? Well it’s actually quite tricky to explain without getting all super technical about it. The best way to put it is like this. There are not exactlycolours at all, like say pigments.

What they are is the way the feathers of the Peacock are spaced. The feathers are tiny fibres that move, and this give the impression of metallics. One set of fibres create one colour and another set rub against them to make another.

The most interesting thing about this is that it all depends on the light and what angle you actually look at the peacock. Certain ways will make it look more metallic than others and don’t forget the bird may well be moving as well.

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The tail of the Indian Peacock is where we see the most drama. Its technical term is a train, so it’s really a tail at all. Its also a bit of a myth t think of the feathers as quills, although if you get hold of one they do appear fo have all the usual characteristics. However whatscientists like to say is that in fact they are very stretched out tail coverts.

This means they have a more rigid structure to the feather and can be moved in an intermittent manner, hence you get that rustling noise when the see you and want you to back off. The most noticeable thing when the peacock does this are the “eyespots” there is no indication that they are there unless the peacock exposes itself to you.

Its all bluster and bravado though. However, to a predator this can be confusing. How big is this bird orhow many are there of this bird are probably going through its mind and it will back off?

The bird is very important in Hinduism. They see the bird as the embodiment of the Lord Kartikeya who is a God of war. He also likes to ride on a peacock in to battel. Lord Krishna also likes the bird having some of there feathers in his crown.


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