Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coyote UV Vision

I recently took some absorption/transmission measurements of coyote corneas to see their response to UV light. I wanted to determine whether or not coyotes can see in the UV, making it vital to wash your camouflage garments in a non-FWA detergent. FWA stands for fluorescent whitening agents. They serve as a color brightener and are found in most detergents as well as toilet paper. Under UV light, these phorphorus agents fluoresce in the blue spectral region. Because the FWA's fluoresce in the blue region, I am not sure why it is important that animals can see in the UV, but it is something to note just for science. From the results of the measurements and the plot seen below, it can be said that coyote corneas do not block UV light down to roughly 300nm. While this does not mean that coyotes can see into the UV spectral region, it does indicate that, unlike humans, coyotes do not filter out UV light using their corneas. This leads to the logical conclusion that coyotes may see in the UV since their eye biology does not exclude it using eye biology's natural light filter - the cornea.


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