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Ultra-Rapid Vision in Birds
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm Univ, Zool, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
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Number of Authors: 6
2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 3, e0151099Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Flying animals need to accurately detect, identify and track fast-moving objects and these behavioral requirements are likely to strongly select for abilities to resolve visual detail in time. However, evidence of highly elevated temporal acuity relative to non-flying animals has so far been confined to insects while it has been missing in birds. With behavioral experiments on three wild passerine species, blue tits, collared and pied flycatchers, we demonstrate temporal acuities of vision far exceeding predictions based on the sizes and metabolic rates of these birds. This implies a history of strong natural selection on temporal resolution. These birds can resolve alternating light-dark cycles at up to 145 Hz (average: 129, 127 and 137, respectively), which is ca. 50 Hz over the highest frequency shown in any other vertebrate. We argue that rapid vision should confer a selective advantage in many bird species that are ecologically similar to the three species examined in our study. Thus, rapid vision may be a more typical avian trait than the famously sharp vision found in birds of prey.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 3, e0151099
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Other Natural Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129684DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151099ISI: 000372582800043PubMedID: 26990087OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-129684DiVA: diva2:930246
Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-04-27 Last updated: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved

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