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               What is and means Melanin in the                          Plumage of Canaries? What about the different colours in the plumage of canaries so far could be detected, that they are formed by the presence or absence of dyes. In addition, the density of the dyes and also the place of the dyes can changed the colour in the canaries plumage. The fact is that melanin are the reason for the colouring of the canaries. Melanin are pigment dyes. By melanin arise a variety of colors in the plumage. The colouring through melanin are very complex biochemical processes in the bird body, but however, the reason must be a interaction between hormones, enzymes and amino acids. Scientific studies have already determined an abundance of informations about formation and deposit of melanin in feathers of many different kind of bird species, but however, just at the plumage of canaries, many questions remain unanswered because canary feathers were mostly ignored in the scientific studies.
We distinguish two types of Melanin in the canary feather: - EUMELANIN, which gives the typical back and flank striations for melanin canaries. Eumelanin is distributed down the middel of the canary feather and may have a black to brown colour. Characterstic features for canaries from the black and cinnamon series are the unbroken and for canaries from the the agate and isabel series are the broken back and flank striations (also called markings or pencil line) - PHAEOMELANIN is situated around the edge of the feather and may have a dark brown to pale beige colour Eumelanin and Phaeomelanin can occur individually or together in the normal or diluted form.

The colour of melanin mutations in canaries are combinations

between at least 2 mutations.

Thus the classical canary mutations are combined one of the

ground colour also called lipochrome colour (yellow, red, white)

with one of the classical melanin mutations (i. e. Red + Bronze;

Yellow + Agate; White + Isabel ...).

The non-classical canary mutations are combined with at least 3

mutations. 2 mutations are the same as described before for

classical canaries and a third mutation in addition.

(i.e. White+Agate+Opal; Yellow + Agate + Eumo, Red + Black +


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W. Hagelberg's zoologischer Hand-Atlas              
was published between 1879-1881. The second part (Part B) includes the part AVES. It’s a collection of 285 rare bird illustrations read more>