The Web of Life (14-3) Positive Polarization

 Positive Polarization

The vivid plumage of a peacock seduces a peafowl to mate with him. The wondrous sight owes largely to polarized light. Such splendor cannot be faked.

(The iridescent optics of peacock feathers is not the only allure. Peacocks quiver their tails during mating season, emitting low frequency sonics which appeal to peafowl.)

Nor with swordtail fish. Female swordtails have a decided preference for males with certain polarized patterns on their bodies. The more polarization a male swordtail has, the better its mating prospects.

Similarly, jeweled beetles shimmer via iridescence on their elytra (hardened forewings). Females find the appeal of polarization irresistible.