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Re: evasive, camouflaged flocking



There seems to be a lot of interest here in color vision (well, at
least two people are interested in it :-) in dinosaurs and other
animals.  I want to take up Matt's request and talk about my talk at
the North-Central GSA meeting, but I fear I'm going to have to say I
can't right now because I can't afford the time.  Maybe if Mary and
Tree would quit telling me about "The Phantom Menace"... (Sorry;
inside joke).

I will talk about the subject at some point in the hopefully not too
distant future, but I'm also planning to write a paper about it.
Maybe I can pull out Holtz' stock answer #1 and say "Wait for the
%*#$Q)*% paper!" :-) I could be shamed into spilling earlier if Matt
would tell us about sauropod feet.  I note that he was too humble to
tell us of his excellent talk (it *had* to be good because he wore a
suit :-) I think Matt's talk was the first one I've been to which
featured a slide of AT-AT Walkers... where's Darren when you need him?
I've been planning to summarize all of the talks from the symposium at
which Matt and I presented, but as I said above I fear I can't just
now.

Anyhoo, I can't remain completely quiet here in the face of Randy's
statement:

> Almost all fish are colorblind,

That's not likely to be correct.  It's certainly true that most fish
that humans typically interact with (e.g. around coral reefs, in pet
stores, on fishing boats) have the capacity for better color vision
than we do.  The only fish that are likely to be completely colorblind
are those that live at great depths in the ocean.

> Most livestock are colorblind, I believe that horses are.

That depends upon how you define "colorblind".  Using the definition
that we typically use for humans that are "colorblind" it is most
probably true (not much research has really been done to characterize
color vision in such animals, but the data that are there suggest that
horses, cows etc. are like humans with red-green color blindness).
However, contrary to what I suspect many of you might be thinking,
that doesn't mean that they see a black and white world.  They can
make color discriminations just not the same ones that humans make.

To titillate just a little, my conclusion based on what can be
inferred from the molecular biology of extant animals: if you accept
that horses are colorblind compared to humans then dinosaurs could
have said with equal justification that humans are colorblind compared
to them.

Hope this is of interest...

--
Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)