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Visible understanding

Birds use the earth’s magnetic field as their compass.

But how do animals perceive their surroundings in general? Tortoises and insects such as bees can differentiate between red, blue and green and see ultraviolet light.

Snakes can recognise infrared light. With dogs and cats, meanwhile, it’s only shades of blue and green. Animals also experience different intensities and gradations of colour.

Now, a British-American research team has developed a two-camera system, with one camera recording the visible colour spectrum and the other capturing UV light.

Like a mixing console, a software adjusts the recordings’ colourings according to ‘animal’ vision for various species. UV light is shown in purple.

An innovation that should offer greater insight into animal behaviour and perception. 

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