20/05/2011 by Sarah Ritchie
I wonder what God was thinking of when He created the peacock. We know they were around in Bible times, and the birds were obviously a prized possession even then.
“For the king had ships which went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.“
(2 Chronicles 9:21, The Bible)
When thinking about the stunning iridescent blue, blue-green and green of the peacock’s upper covert feathers, you could take this Wikipedia post into consideration:
As with many birds, vibrant plumage colours are not primarily pigments, but optical interference Bragg reflections, based on regular, periodic nanostructures of the barbules (fiber-like components) of the feathers. 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 interference-based structural colour is important for the peacock’s iridescent hues that change and shimmer with viewing angle, since unlike pigments, interference effects depend on light angle.
Phew…did you get all that? Sarah’s un-scientific interpretation of that statement is that the colour of a peacock feather is amazing, complex and highly designed. It also tells me that God must have wanted to give mankind a VERY special gift when He created the peacock. A gift, not for food or function, but for shear beauty and enjoyment. A gift to delight…and it does…every time.
This post is part of Sarah’s “the beauty of…” series.
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