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Planet Earth

Inside the Secret World of Iridescent Animals

The greens, blues and purples of iridescent animals are fabulous to behold. But biologists are still learning why the creatures are so colorful and bright.

By Joshua Rapp LearnMarch 19, 2020 9:21 PM
Peacock - Karin Kjernsmo
An iridescent male peafowl, aka a peacock. (Credit: Karin Kjernsmo)


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Some animals are so flashy you can’t tell what color they are. From one angle they appear neon green, but a quick movement may bring their shade to deep blue or dark purple.

The shimmer of iridescent animals definitely stands out when seen in the right context, but now new research finds that these multi-toned animals may be using their bling to hide, not stand out.

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