Effect of Bright Red on Animals.

Scientific American 16, 18.4.1868

We have never yet been able to arrive at a solution of the curious effects of the sight of scarlet or brilliant orange or crimson on some animals. No treatise on natural history we ever have seen has given a satisfactory explanation of facts which must often have been noticed by the most unobservant. An exchange says:

"Many persons have unquestionably lost their lives in consequence of wearing articles of dress which provoked domesticated animals to such a pitch of fury as to lead to melancholy results. Females, for example, in attempting to cross a pasture, wearing a red shawl, a red covering for the head, a scarlet dress, or flowing scarlet ribbons, where bulls are grazing hazard their lives. Oxen, otherwise peaceably disposed, become intensely infuriated at some seasons by the sight of bright red handkerchiefs, or almost any article of female dress of that particular hue. It is equally curious that turkeys manifest the same restlessness and ultimate excitement at red flags or red dresses. The turkey cock on such occasions assumes extraordinary dignity, gobbling most uproariously, and creating immense excitement In his family, not accustomed to the sight. Nearly all the wild grazing animals exhibit extreme surprise, if not positive fright, when a red cloth floats before them."

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