The extravagant splendor of the animal kingdom can’t be explained by natural selection alone — so how did it come to be?
- Ferris Jabr
- The New York Times Magazine
A male flame bowerbird is a creature of incandescent beauty.
The hue of his plumage transitions seamlessly from molten red to sunshine yellow.
But that radiance is not enough to attract a mate.
When males of most bowerbird species are ready to begin courting, they set about building the structure for which they are named: an assemblage of twigs shaped into a spire, corridor or hut.
They decorate their bowers with scores of…