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Paper on snails as seen by birds, including UVA

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#1 enricosavazzi

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 06:28

Paper: Color polymorphism in a land snail Cepaea nemoralis (Pulmonata: Helicidae) as viewed by potential avian predators. Naturwissenschaften (2013) 100:533-540.

PDF at https://www.academia...work_card=title

An interesting study of how birds potentially perceive the study subject and how the latter may blend in with its typical backgrounds. At a quick reading, the methodology seems sound, and the interpretation attempts to avoid making the "leaps of faith" and the unconscious anthropocentric assumptions often seen in less technical/scientific discussions of similar subjects. While a pattern of parallel stripes actually attracts our attention like a sore thumb, it may well work as camouflage for the perception system of other species. Reflected illumination measurements with a 90 degrees contact probe are quite common in industrial analyses because they are repeatable and easy to do, and are practical to carry out on a small surface (on the order of mm2). The used spectroscope is sensitive down to 200 nm, although the graphs are clipped off at 300 nm because known bird UV vision does not extend below 300 nm. Some useful references on bird vision as well.
-- Enrico Savazzi