On the spectrum

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Birds fly at high speed through dense forests without crashing into trees or leaves—and this navigational prowess may be due to their ability to see ultraviolet light. Two researchers photographed forest habitats with a multispectral camera, allowing them to look at the scenes through the birds’ eyes. In a paper published in Nature Communications in January, they determined that contrast between leaf surfaces was greater with UV vision, and speculated that UV vision also helps birds search for particular leaf surfaces, leading them to prey or safe refuge.

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