Fig. 1 | Nature Communications

Fig. 1

From: Carotenoid metabolism strengthens the link between feather coloration and individual quality

Fig. 1

Carotenoids used for feather coloration. To produce feather coloration, passerine birds either use dietary carotenoids unaltered or use carotenoid pigments that are metabolically derived from dietary pigments. Depicted are the proposed metabolic pathways by which the common dietary carotenoids in the diets of passerine birds can be converted into the red and yellow ketolated carotenoids found in feathers16,79,80 . Birds shown are representative of coloration from converted and dietary carotenoids. House finch (lower) use converted red carotenoids, American goldfinch (upper) display converted yellow carotenoids, and wood warblers (middle) display dietary yellow carotenoids. A few bird species directly ingest red carotenoids, such as astaxanthin, from their diet (not shown)

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