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Color for Science, Art and Technology by Kurt Nassau

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chapter 8

Color in Plants, Animals and Man

John B. Hutchings    Bedford, England, (Unilever PLC, retired)

8.1 Introduction

Biological organisms must live in harmony with their environment. If they do not, they perish. Three driving forces lead to the continuing optimization of color and appearance in biological organisms. An organism may be colored by default, that is, through the reflection of unwanted radiant energy. This is the driving force behind greenness in energy-absorbing systems such as leaves. Color has evolved in many organisms through a combination of the light reflected or transmitted from one organism and the color vision of that or another organism. Examples include animals and flowering plants. Lastly, color can arise from a biochemical ...

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