New Camera Tech Now Lets You See How Animals View the World!

New Camera tech reveals how animals view the world visually
Image Courtesy: Plos Biology
In Short
  • Due to photoreceptors in their eyes, different animals perceive the world around differently.
  • To allow us to finally see what animals perceive visually, researchers have come up with a new camera tech.
  • Using this camera tech alongside software packages, they have been successful in doing it.

A group of researchers from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada have joined hands to show us how animals view the natural world around them. The researchers made this possible by taking to a new technology, which uses a novel camera and software system.

Since different animals view the world differently, it is difficult to replicate their vision, due to the photoreceptors in their eyes. For example, honeybees are trichromatic like human beings and yet see the world differently as they can view UV light unlike us. Meanwhile, Birds are tetrachromats and some of them can view UV light as well.

The very question of how animals view the world has always been a fascinating one. That is what drove these researchers to develop this new technology and method as well. The research paper’s abstract reveals the objective as “introduce hardware and software that provide ecologists and filmmakers the ability to accurately record animal-perceived colors in motion.”

However, that’s not the only way this research can come in handy. It will allow us humans to look at windows and decals from the eyes of birds. In the U.S., roughly 100 million birds are killed because of their inability to detect mirrors easily, thereby resulting in striking against them.

This new camera technology basically records videos in the UV, red, blue, and green channels. Then they process the data from these channels using Python to get an idea of how different animals view the world.

A peacock's feather as viewed by a peafowl, human being, honeybee and dog

If you take a look at the above image, you will see four different color profiles. Here, A denotes a peafowl’s vision, B for human beings, C for honeybees, and D for dogs. This is the way these four different subjects view a peacock’s feather in natural lighting.

To test the accuracy of this tech, they compared it against spectrophotometry. For the uninitiated, spectrophotometry measures how visible, ultraviolet, and other radiations interact with an object. Against this, the newly developed visual technology had an accuracy of over a commendable 92%.

Colors play a vital role for not just humans, but animals as well. From detecting and hunting food to finding a potential mate, knowing how they perceive colors will be a big step in the world of ecology. In addition, this research is completely free to use, allowing other researchers out there to build on this technology and add to its value.

Have you ever been fascinated by how animals view the world? Let us know in the comments down below!

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