scientific name: Pavo Cristatus
length: 32 inches
quantity: 1 tail
domesticated, some wild
originally India, now worldwide
*As with many birds, vibrant iridescent plumage colours are not primarily pigments, but structural colouration. Optical interference Bragg reflections, based on regular, periodic nanostructures of the barbules (fiber-like components) of the feathers produce the peacock's colors. Slight changes to the spacing result in different colours. Brown feathers are a mixture of red and blue: one colour is created by the periodic structure, and the other is a created by a Fabry–Pérot interference peak from reflections from the outer and inner boundaries. Such structural colouration causes the iridescence of the peacock's hues since, unlike pigments, interference effects depend on light angle.
Colour mutations exist through selective breeding, such as the White Peafowl and the Black-Shouldered Peafowl.
*the peacock has iridescent blue-green or green colored plumage. the peacock tail ("train") is not the tail quill feathers but the highly elongated upper tail covert feathers. the "eyes" are best seen when the peacock fans its tail. Both species have a crest atop the head. the female (peahen) Indian Peafowl has a mixture of dull green, brown, and grey in her plumage. although she lacks the long upper tail coverts of the male, she has a crest. the female also displays her plumage to ward off female competition or signal danger to her young.
in this collection