Animal Color

The cover of the November-December Harvard Magazine features this magnificent photo of a panther chameleon from Madagascar (sorry for the slight crease from the scan; the original photo is by Paul Bratescu). That photo introduces us to the feature article Animals Speak Color.

The article is full of striking photos, including this one below of this colorful nudibranch (a type of mollusk). You can go to the website to see them all or download the pdf. If you want the live experience, the article is based on the new exhibit The Language of Color at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. In lieu of that, the magazine gives us a video tour.

In the animal kingdom color serves to warn, camouflage, advertise, and compete. Sex drives a lot of that, showing off for mates, but so does poison, telling predators that this flashy little being is bad to eat.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is home to the world-famous glass flowers, exquisite life-like reproductions. So it’s not jus the animal world getting in on the color game!

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