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Astonishing camera system captures colors just the way animals experience them and it's phenomenal

Scientists developed a camera to understand how animals view colors and the results are vibrantly vivid.
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels| George Lebada
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels| George Lebada

Humans are privileged to observe a spectrum of colors and enjoy different hues, shades and tints. However, the way we perceive colors is not the same for animals and other species, per IFL Science. Some animals see different colors on a different spectrum while others have only a monochromatic vision. Spectrophotometry was earlier used as a method to view colors from the lens of animals and understand vibrancy from their perspective. However, this process was too time-consuming. So, researchers were able to put their efforts into creating a new camera system for the same.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Magda Ehlers
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Magda Ehlers

The new camera system colorfully captured the visuals in four units that many animals see - red, blue, UV light and green. Once the visuals are captured, they are processed as “perceptual units,” to understand what the same looks like to animals. The video captured, for instance, is the image of a peacock’s feather. The 4 units displayed how each of the blue, green and other hues were distinctly perceived by different animals shared in a press release that the major reason why animals see colors so differently is because of the capabilities of the photoreceptors in their eye. A poignant example is that of honey bees who can see colors in UV light, something humans can't do naturally. The video captured 2 different settings or sequences in which 4 species (peacock, humans, honeybees and dogs) distinctly viewed the colors of the feather. While humans saw each color and shade vibrantly, for honeybees and peafowls, there was a “UV iridescence” visible. However, these two still had differences in the way they saw each color.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Eva Bronzini
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Eva Bronzini

The peafowl, for instance, observed a brighter, more saturated set of colors compared to humans. Honey bees, on the other hand, had a more reddish tinge visible in their spectrum. For dogs, the view was more monochromatic, where the dominant green was perceived more than any of the other colors. The second sequence also captured a similar distinction with a different color palette for each species. With a 92% accuracy compared to the traditional method, the camera system captured how the 4 species view colors on different wavelengths.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Markus Spiske
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Markus Spiske

Senior author Daniel Hanley added, “We’ve long been fascinated by how animals see the world. Modern techniques in sensory ecology allow us to infer how static scenes might appear to an animal; however, animals often make crucial decisions on moving targets (e.g., detecting food items, evaluating a potential mate’s display, etc.). Here, we introduce hardware and software tools for ecologists and filmmakers that can capture and display animal-perceived colors in motion.”

This new approach to learning the color world from the point of view of animals opens a wide scope for further study and understanding of animals and color. In terms of communication with animals concerning color, this camera system serves as a beneficial instrument.