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The effects of colours among animals in national parks

WHEN you put on light in your room mosquitos will move from any parts which glitter to those where light is absorbed, as they are doing this you will find them running white, yellow or green and concentrate in place which are blue, black and any other of this nature.

Scientists describe color as a characteristic of visual perception described through colour categories with names such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple.

Details from different researches show this perception of colour derives from the stimulation of photoreceptor cells especially in particular cone cells in the human eye and other vertebrate eyes by electromagnetic radiation.

We are able to see and differentiate colors in what scientists call colour vision, this is an ability of animals to perceive differences between light composed of different wavelengths independently of light intensity. Color vision is the ability of an organism or machine to distinguish objects based on the wavelengths or frequencies of the light they reflect, emit, or transmit.

Colours can be measured and quantified in various ways, a person’s perception of colors is a subjective process whereby the brain responds to the stimuli that are produced when incoming light reacts with the several types of cone cells in the eye.

Colour perception is a part of the larger visual system and is mediated by a complex process between neurons that begins with differential stimulation of different types of photoreceptors by light entering the eye. Scientists say the color of an object depends on both the physics of the object in its environment and the characteristics of the perceiving eye and brain.

Physically, objects can be said to have the color of the light leaving their surfaces, which normally depends on the spectrum of the incident illumination and the reflectance properties of the surface, as well as potentially on the angles of illumination and viewing, and this fact enables us to say some objects not only reflect light, but also transmit light or emit light themselves, which also contributes to the color.

The ability of the human eye to distinguish colors is based upon the varying sensitivity of different cells in the retina to light of different wavelengths.

Scientists say while the mechanisms of color vision at the level of the retina are well-described in terms, color processing after that point is organized differently, color information is transmitted out of the eye by three opponent processes, or opponent channels, each constructed from the raw output of the cones such as a red and green channel, a blue and yellow channel, and a black and white also called luminance channel.

It has been described that color processing begins at a very early level in the visual system even within the retina through initial color opponent mechanisms, from this stage a visual information is then sent to the brain from retinal ganglion cells via the optic nerve to the optic chiasma.

Many species can see light with frequencies outside the human visible spectrum, bees, butterflies and many other insects can detect ultraviolet light, which helps them to find nectar in flowers. Birds, too, can see into the ultraviolet, and some have sex-dependent markings on their plumage that are visible only in the ultraviolet range.

Many animals that can see into the ultraviolet range, however, cannot see red light or any other reddish wavelengths, birds, however, can see some red wavelengths, although not as far into the light spectrum as humans, the basis for this variation is the number of cone types that differ between species.

Meanwhile mammals in general have color vision of a limited type, and usually have red-green color blindness. Black is the darkest color, it is a result of the absence or complete absorption of visible light this can be emphasized by saying in the visible spectrum, black is the absorption of all colors also black can be defined as the visual impression experienced when no visible light reaches the eye.

Among list of colors black is seen by most members of the animal’s kingdom. For example, the eyesight of an elephant is not as far reaching as a human’s eyesight, using their heads, bodies, trunks, ears and tail for communicating is the elephant’s natural language this is because visual communication includes movements of the head, mouth, tusks and trunk.

An elephant’s eyes are very small in relation to its head. The eye contains very few photoreceptors and they cannot see very well further than a few hundred feet. Blue is one of the three primary colors of pigments in painting and traditional color, brown is a composite color which is seen widely in nature, in wood, soil, human hair color, eye color and skin pigmentation.

The thin top layer of the Earth’s crust on land is largely made up of soil colored different shades of brown whereby rich and fertile soils tend to be darker in color also a large number of mammals and predatory birds have a brown coloration.

Green is the color between blue and yellow on the visible spectrum, Green is common in nature, as many plants are green because of a complex chemical known as chlorophyll, which is involved in photosynthesis. Yellow is the color between orange and green on the spectrum of visible light.

Yellow is the most visible color from a distance, Orange is the color between yellow and red on the spectrum of visible light, Orange is the color most easily seen in dim light or against the water, meanwhile purple is closely associated with violet.

In optics, purple and violet refer to colors that look similar, but purples are mixtures of red light and blue or violet light, white is the lightest color and is achromatic. It is the color of fresh snow, chalk and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light.

In the savannah animal coloration is the general appearance of an animal resulting from the reflection or emission of light from its surfaces. Some animals are brightly colored, while others are hard to see, there are several separate reasons why animals have evolved colors. Camouflage enables an animal to remain hidden from view.

Red is the color at the end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. Red is associated with dominance in a number of animal species.

Red can also affect the perception of dominance by others, leading to significant differences in mortality, reproductive success and parental investment between individuals displaying red and those not, different researches have indicated that wearing clothes with bright colors such as red and yellow affect animals behaviors because most of them are afraid of bright things and see them as competitors and result into attack because of aggressive which is born out of search physical competition for dominance.

Grey is an intermediate color between black and white, it is a neutral color or achromatic color, meaning literally that it is a color without color because it can be composed of black and white, because of its nature when going to national parks it is highly recommended to select clothes with this type.

Meanwhile when light fade as night approaches, both human, primates and bovine’s eyes adjust themselves immediately because they have evolved to work in a dimly light environment only because of a smart brain which process and translate faded picture of an object.

With that great ability of our minds, as the night grow older our vision become poor to point that whenever we want to go outside we need assistants from artificial source of light. Lions are mammals that have eyes which have at the same level like human eyes during day light but at night these apex predators see eight times more than human being.

Scientists say lions see mainly in blue and greens environment, with highly developed night vision, this doesn’t mean they can see in the dark because if they work on a pitch black they will be blind. Lion’s eyes are designed to work effectively in darkness where they are able to pick and use very little light available even from stars and moon.

In an open area inside Tarangire, Ruaha, Mikumi national parks or others with savannah grassland, among predators this is a complex procedure which employs different methods. Lions have more rod cells than cone cells in the retina of the eye, these are photoreceptor or light sensitive cells, and they function to convert visible electromagnetic radiations or light into signals which stimulate biological process.

Lion’s eyes are equipped with two photoreceptor cells which are rods and cones, each of these cells contributing information used by the visual system to form a representation of the visual activities. Cones cells are wider which work as color detector while rods cells are narrow and they are responsible for light as they are distributed differently across the retina.

This shows that lions have more light sensitive cells packed tightly in the fovea which is the most sensitive area of the retina, this means their eyes need little amount of light to see something in the darkness than human eyes. Lions have what is known as a Tapetum lucidum, this is a reflective layer of cells positioned behind the retina.

This means that light entering into the lion’s eye’s will be absorbed by either the rod or cone cells, light that passes through the retina and the photoreceptor cells is reflected back by the Tapitum lucidum while the light sensitive cells have a second chance to absorb the light waves, in effect doubling the effectiveness of their night vision.

Despite of many people’s belief, a lion’s eyes do not glow in darkness, but they contain a special reflective coating that will reflect even moonlight.

Scientists say lions have big eyes, this reflective layer results in the eerie or eye shine which is seen when a light shine on lion’s eyes at night is also found in other mammals in the savannah except rhino which its eyes doesn’t have eye shine.

Outside each eye of lions, there white patches which are located under each eye and work to enhance a little amount of light available while enabling the super predator to work effectively at night.

rstanslaus@yahoo.com Mobile: 0754362330

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Author: Reginald Stanislaus Matillya

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