General, Research, Technology

Birds are able to see colors that we cannot even imagine.

No matter how many writers and philosophers talk about"Gray" of our lives, the world around us is very bright. This is especially noticeable in the summer, when our entire environment is covered with green vegetation, and night cities are lit with different colors. Well, we can be called lucky - the human eye is able to perceive much more bright colors than the organs of vision of other animals. But the birds in this business still surpassed us, because recently scientists have found out that some of them see colors that we cannot even imagine. And all because nature gave them a more advanced vision system, because they need it to communicate and search for food.

Some birds see the world brighter than we do. And it is scientifically proven

Flower perception

The enviable ability of birds was described inthe scientific journal PNAS. The number of colors that an animal perceives depends on the number of light-sensitive cells in its eyes. In vertebrate organisms, to which we are related, the so-called cones - processes of photosensitive retinal cellseyes. In people without visual impairment, there are three types of cones that perceive red, green, and blue. Other shades like black, yellow, pink, and so on are created in the brain when it receives information about a mixture of the three primary colors.

For example: yellow color occurs in the brain when “red” and “green” cones are activated in the eyes.

In nature, there are two types of flowers: spectral and non-spectral. Spectral colors are visible to yellow, red and green - they are all on the rainbow and excite either one of the visual cones, or those that are adjacent. There are four cones in the eyes of the birds, which means that they see much more flowers than we do. Take a look at the image below - each axis of the quadrangular pyramid represents a spectral color. Between them there are shades that we can distinguish. But, since birds have four cones, they can perceive the shades shown by dashed lines. What these colors look like, we can’t even imagine.

The color space that birds see

Creatures with three cones are called trichromatsand with four - tetrachromats.

Bird sight

To prove this, researchers from the USA and Canadaconducted an experiment. As part of their scientific work, they tested the vision of a hummingbird of the species Tricolor Selasphorus (Selasphorus platycercus). Scientists arrived at one of their habitats and installed two drinking bowls on the ground. They poured plain water in one of them, and sweet water in the other, which hummingbirds love. Drinking bowls were lit using red, green, blue or ultraviolet LEDs. Sweet water differed in color from usual, and due to the combination of four colors, only hummingbirds could see the “sweet” shade.

Three-color Selasforus on a drinker

When the birds remembered what color is highlightedtasty water, the researchers changed the drinkers in places. They watched the reaction of birds from a distance of ten meters and noted that tiny creatures quickly noticed the substitution and immediately flew up to the sweet water. This experiment was repeated for three years and with almost the same result. Therefore, there are no doubts that birds are able to distinguish much more colors than we are.

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According to scientists, the plumage of hummingbirds and flowerspartially painted in colors that are not visible to us. It follows that the perception of more colors is necessary for them to communicate and search for food. This assumption is relevant, at least for hummingbirds. As with other species of birds, scientists still do not know - it is necessary to conduct additional research.

After this article, I recommend reading material about the deadly attack of the most dangerous bird in the world.

Scientists still have a lot about the life and abilities of birdsunknown - the descendants of dinosaurs can be considered one of the most mysterious animal species on our planet. But the veil of secrets is gradually opening, and recently my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova said that despite their tiny brains, birds are able to build multi-level communities, just like people have. And in another article, I already talked about how seabirds use sticks as a tool to maintain their body clean.