Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Color Vision Adaptations

Throughout a person's life everyone has taken a color blindness in some shape or form, struggling to see the numbers hidden in different colors. Those who are color blind are thought to be at a “disadvantage” only being limited to a certain range of colors. Other species,  more specifically primates can be color blind or their color vision can vary from trichromatic or polymorphic. However the variance to color blindness and vision is not always a negative aspect but instead being able to view certain colors may be attributed to a primate’s fitness and likelihood to survive in their environment. Being colorblind might even be an advantage to certain primates in different situations and allow them to compete against other fellow species of primates and allow them to pass their genes.

In a recent theoretical studies it is suggested that the difference in color vision between different species of primates might be due to fitness related behaviors such as foraging and detecting predators. Having trichromatic vision might help a primate be successful at foraging food with a reddish color, like fruit or leaves that are hidden by the predominant green foliage. Red-green color blindness may help primates find camouflaged items such as food including insects or plants and it helps find predators, which greatly increases their ability to survive. These studies are very popular as it is fairly easy to test as their is high variance in color vision between primate species.

Among all primates Lemurs have the highest color variance having either monochromacy, dichromacy, or polymorphic color vision. Lemurs have also been shown to vary in their ecological characteristics and their activity patterns such as their nocturnality or day activity. Lemurs diets as well and their habitats including spiny forest, deciduous forest or rain forests vary as well. With all these variations in different Lemurs it is hypothesized that these are the reasons why there's a high number of variance in their color vision. Different conditions cause Lemurs to develop their color vision in order to help them survive the habitat and patterns that they partake in a day to day basis.

Being color blind or having different color vision is not alway a weakness and in no way is it always a disadvantage to an organism. Instead being color blind could be the difference to an animal being able to survive a predator attack or the difference in finding an abundant amount of food. Colors are just another tool that can help an animal survive and prosper and some animals only need a certain amount to be effective. Next time you realize someone is colorblind don’t immediately think it is disadvantageous instead keep an open mind about what they can see and what you cannot.  
Posted by "Edwin Montecinos"

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