colour in nature… when red is really orange

Colour in nature - when red is really orange - Robin red breast.

BBC QI has to be one of my favourite shows. And I especially love it when they have questions relating to colour. In this particular show, they talked about colour in nature and when red is really orange.

When you see a robin’s red-breast you probably noticed it is actually orange. The bird was named before the English language had a word for the colour ‘orange’. Many things that were really orange were called red instead even though we did have the word for ‘orange’ as in the fruit.

The colour orange was not named as a colour in English until the 16th century. The name for the colour comes from the fruit.

Other examples of orange things called red are a red kite bird, a red squirrel, red-headed people and red deer.

Colour in nature - when red is really orange - Red deer.

Colour in nature | when red is really orange | Red deer

 

Colour in nature - when red is really orange - Red squirrel. This opens a new browser window.

Colour in nature | when red is really orange | Red squirrel

 

Colour in nature - when red is really orange - Red kite bird. This opens a new browser window.

Colour in nature | when red is really orange | Red kite

Source: QI Series K – Knees & Knockers

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