What Aid Birds To Find Good Food And The Right Partner?

First Posted: Jun 19, 2016 05:08 AM EDT

The birds rely on color vision through color constancy to find good food and identify high quality partners, according to a new study.

The study printed in the scientific Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It was led by researchers from Lund University and Bristol University.

Peter Olsson, a biologist and the lead author of the study from Lund vision Group at the Faculty of Science at Lund University stated that they studied many different lighting conditions to find out how big the changes in light could be without the chickens losing their color constancy. He added that this type of study has never been done before.

The study involved training chickens. They were kept in an environment with white light and had access to containers marked in three various colors such as red, yellow and orange. The birds would only receive food by selecting the orange container.

The researchers examined which container the chickens selected when the light in the room was switched to various shades of red. The outcome reveals that the chickens maintained to choose the orange container.

They also used a mathematical model to measure how big the changes in light are inside the chickens' eyes. This allows them for the first time to compare the color constancy of chickens and birds to the color constancy ability in other animals.

Olsson stated that they also compare the chicken's color constancy ability in the laboratory to the light changes they and other birds experience in nature. This includes how the lighting conditions differ in the woods from in an open field. The results show that they are able to maintain their color constancy under greater changes in light in the laboratory than when experiencing those that occur in nature.

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