August 8, 2020

How do animals see the world? A new app reveals it to us

An international scientific team has developed a computer program that, for the first time, will allow to see the world as animals see it and could uBe like an application on any mobile phone, according to an article published today by the magazine Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

For decades, scientists have studied the anatomy and functioning of animal vision organs and have determined, for example, that while the human eye perceives about 60 images per second, that of dogs perceives 80, and that of the common fly captures up to 250, which explains why it is so difficult to catch these insects.

Felines far outnumber humans in terms of night vision, and while our eyes have receptors for red, green and blue, bird perception allows them to capture ultraviolet light, and stomatopod crustaceans – better known as sea mantis, shells or tamarutacas – have 16 photoreceptors.

The novelty in the study of researchers from the universities of Queensland, in Australia, and Exeter, in the United Kingdom, is that allows to observe the environment as the different animals capture it. "Most animals have visual systems that are completely different from humans and that is why, in the case of many species, it is unclear how they see complex visual information or color patterns in nature and how this guides their behavior," said Cedric van den Berg of the Australian university.

Jolyon Troscianko, of the British university, said that color patterns have been key to understand many fundamental problems of evolution such as the way animals communicate or hide from their predators. "For many years we have known that the understanding of animal vision and signals depends on the combination of information about color and patterns," he added.

The researchers worked for four years in the development of the Quantitative Analysis of Color Pattern (QCPA), a collection of innovative techniques for digital image processing and analytical tools. The program uses digital photos, which means that It can be used in almost any habitat, still submerged in water, and so much with cheap cameras which are obtained in any store as with very advanced systems for capturing images throughout the light spectrum. "You can even access almost all the capabilities of the program with a cheap smartphone that takes photos," said Troscianko.

Karen Cheney of the University of Queensland said that "the flexibility of the system allows researchers to study the color patterns and natural environment of a wide range of organisms such as insects, birds, fish and flower plants." "For example, we can now fully understand the impacts of coral bleaching or discoloration for creatures that camouflage on the reefs in a novel and informative way," he added. EFE

. (tagsToTranslate) Science (t) Wildlife (t) Apps

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