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Re: Marsupials see colors

On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 07:13:03 -0800 (PST) Guy Leahy
<xrciseguy@sbcglobal.net> writes:

> The apparent ability to see in the UV spectrum is
> interesting... Any thoughts as to what advantage this
> might serve?

It would seem to indicate a diurnal visual adaptation.  Insects and some
other invertebrates see in UV, but it is reflected UV light.  Meaning
that a light source must be present (sun).  To my knowledge, no living
thing radiates UV light (if such an animal existed, it would indicate
extremely high source temperatures, although I don't know about the
spectrum emitted by fireflies), so that would seem to rule out the
possibility of prey items glowing in the UV?

Pollinating insects use reflected UV light to discriminate between
different flower types  In marsupials, perhaps UV sensitivity is a
holdover from their early ancestors' veegan past.