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Behavioural and physiological mechanisms of polarized light sensitivity in birds.

Muheim, Rachel LU (2011) In Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences 366(1565). p.763-771
Abstract
Polarized light (PL) sensitivity is relatively well studied in a large number of invertebrates and some fish species, but in most other vertebrate classes, including birds, the behavioural and physiological mechanism of PL sensitivity remains one of the big mysteries in sensory biology. Many organisms use the skylight polarization pattern as part of a sun compass for orientation, navigation and in spatial orientation tasks. In birds, the available evidence for an involvement of the skylight polarization pattern in sun-compass orientation is very weak. Instead, cue-conflict and cue-calibration experiments have shown that the skylight polarization pattern near the horizon at sunrise and sunset provides birds with a seasonally and... (More)
Polarized light (PL) sensitivity is relatively well studied in a large number of invertebrates and some fish species, but in most other vertebrate classes, including birds, the behavioural and physiological mechanism of PL sensitivity remains one of the big mysteries in sensory biology. Many organisms use the skylight polarization pattern as part of a sun compass for orientation, navigation and in spatial orientation tasks. In birds, the available evidence for an involvement of the skylight polarization pattern in sun-compass orientation is very weak. Instead, cue-conflict and cue-calibration experiments have shown that the skylight polarization pattern near the horizon at sunrise and sunset provides birds with a seasonally and latitudinally independent compass calibration reference. Despite convincing evidence that birds use PL cues for orientation, direct experimental evidence for PL sensitivity is still lacking. Avian double cones have been proposed as putative PL receptors, but detailed anatomical and physiological evidence will be needed to conclusively describe the avian PL receptor. Intriguing parallels between the functional and physiological properties of PL reception and light-dependent magnetoreception could point to a common receptor system. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
polarized light, sun compass, magnetic compass, orientation, homing, birds
in
Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences
volume
366
issue
1565
pages
763 - 771
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000286721400019
  • scopus:79952348571
ISSN
1471-2970
DOI
10.1098/rstb.2010.0196
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c282b49e-738f-418d-9a23-63a2a26ba04f (old id 1832427)
date added to LUP
2011-03-04 13:29:27
date last changed
2017-10-29 04:03:09
@article{c282b49e-738f-418d-9a23-63a2a26ba04f,
  abstract     = {Polarized light (PL) sensitivity is relatively well studied in a large number of invertebrates and some fish species, but in most other vertebrate classes, including birds, the behavioural and physiological mechanism of PL sensitivity remains one of the big mysteries in sensory biology. Many organisms use the skylight polarization pattern as part of a sun compass for orientation, navigation and in spatial orientation tasks. In birds, the available evidence for an involvement of the skylight polarization pattern in sun-compass orientation is very weak. Instead, cue-conflict and cue-calibration experiments have shown that the skylight polarization pattern near the horizon at sunrise and sunset provides birds with a seasonally and latitudinally independent compass calibration reference. Despite convincing evidence that birds use PL cues for orientation, direct experimental evidence for PL sensitivity is still lacking. Avian double cones have been proposed as putative PL receptors, but detailed anatomical and physiological evidence will be needed to conclusively describe the avian PL receptor. Intriguing parallels between the functional and physiological properties of PL reception and light-dependent magnetoreception could point to a common receptor system.},
  author       = {Muheim, Rachel},
  issn         = {1471-2970},
  keyword      = {polarized light,sun compass,magnetic compass,orientation,homing,birds},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1565},
  pages        = {763--771},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Behavioural and physiological mechanisms of polarized light sensitivity in birds.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2010.0196},
  volume       = {366},
  year         = {2011},
}