The majestic peacock. While it is commonly known that the male peafowl (also known as the peacock) possesses a distinctive covert of feathers, in rare circumstances, the female of the species (peahen) can adapt this trait. In the male, the covert can be raised and fanned out, making for an impressive showing. The purpose of this showing is to display to their potential mates their impressive genetic traits, that the female should choose to pass off onto their offspring. The most notable feature of the plumage is the distinctive “eye” shape that appears at the end of the feathers.
As mentioned earlier, in extremely rare circumstances, the female of the species can develop this predominantly male trait. Scientists have only observed this phenomenon in controlled settings, as the possibility of it happening in the wild is virtually non-existent. Xusha sent in this wonderful example of a female peafowl displaying the plumage of a male. It should be noted that the phenomenon was in a controlled setting, observed by Tony and Gael, in their lab Gevy, which is located in Paris. Please take a moment to examine this rare beauty.
Please note this was in a controlled setting, overseen by professional scientists. You can see more examples of experiments of this type in this BME gallery.