Birds of paradise have evolved into very conspicuous animals with orange, red and turquoise plumage and ornate wire-like feathers that have captured the imagination of scientists and bird enthusiasts alike.
Their showy features are a delight to behold, but they would also make them an easy target for hungry cats and other predatory mammals — if there were any around. The absence of such predators is precisely what allowed these otherwise impractical species to evolve.
“There was an evolutionary opportunity to develop that kind of extravagance,” ornithologist Ed Scholes of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology said. “They’re a quirk of geography.”
Much like birds of paradise, humans also evolve traits that are extravagant and delightful to behold, but are often impractical in real life situations. It’s in the course of time, when we are hurt and/or rejected (intentionally or otherwise) for the very same traits that were once seen as attractive, that we then begin to hide these idiosyncrasies and crawl back into our shells.
My hope is that humanity will embrace the unique traits that make up each one of us, instead of stifling and mislabeling these gifts, due to fear and misunderstanding.
These creatures are extraordinary in their beauty and grace, and it would be a shame not to share these videos and images:
P.S. Do yourself a favor, and watch these in 1080p HD. 😀