Researchers have discovered the eyes of Arctic reindeer change colour through the seasons from gold to blue, adapting to extreme changes of light levels in their environment and helping detect predators. The BBSRC-funded team from UCL (University College London), and the University of Tromsø, Norway, showed that the colour change helps reindeer to see better in the continuous daylight of summer and continuous darkness of Arctic winters, by changing the sensitivity of the retina to light.
Nature, as the great poet Tennyson reminded us, is a violent place, or "red in tooth and claw", as he put it. One of the mechanisms animals use to avoid a bloody end is camouflage – blending in with the background – to avoid predators.
Cuckoo finches that lay more than one egg in their victims' nests have a better chance of bamboozling host parents into fostering their parasitic young, a study has found. BBSRC David Phillips Fellows Dr Martin Stevens from the University of Exeter and Dr Claire Spottiswoode from the University of Cambridge, with Dr Jolyon Troscianko at the University of Exeter, demonstrated…