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British anthropologists Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham reached that conclusion by studying the outcomes of one-on-one boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman-wresting, and freestyle-wrestling matches at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.In each event Olympic staff randomly assigned red or blue clothing or body protection to competitors.Nearly 650,000 starlings were poisoned last year in the state, an all-time record, he said.When killing's not an option, agents often turn to harassment campaigns.For example, studies by Setchell, the Cambridge primate researcher, show that dominant male mandrills have increased red coloration in their faces and rumps.Another study by other scientists shows that red plastic rings experimentally placed on the legs of male zebra finches increase the birds' dominance.In downtown Indianapolis, flocks as large as 40,000 show up around dusk in the winter to hang out, find food and keep warm.

Hill and Barton found similar results in a review of the colors worn at the Euro 2004 international soccer tournament.No one was killed but the badly damaged plane had a rough landing.Those kinds of scenarios are why wildlife biologist Mike Smith has been tweaking a series of traps used at Salt Lake City International Airport, where there have been 19 reported starling strikes since 1990.Her work with the large African monkeys known as mandrills shows that red coloration gives males an advantage when it comes to mating.The finding that red also has an advantage in human sporting events does not surprise her, addding that "the idea of the study is very clever." Sexual Draw Hill and Barton got the idea for their study study out of a mutual interest in the evolution of sexual signals in primates—"red seems to be the color, across species, that signals male dominance and testosterone levels," Barton said.D., who's part of a team focusing on starlings and blackbirds.

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