31 Dec '13, 1pm

Why reindeer eyes turn blue in the winter

Why reindeer eyes turn blue in the winter

Reindeer may be best known for fictional Rudolph's glowing red nose, but now scientists find the animals can alter color elsewhere as well — the backs of their eyeballs change from gold in the summer to blue in the winter. This change in color helps reindeer eyes capture more light during the dark winter months in the Arctic, scientists added. Collection of reindeer eyes Neuroscientist Glen Jeffery, who investigates vision at University College London, was sent a collection of reindeer eyes from the Arctic 12 years ago, some from reindeer killed in the summer, some in the winter. [See Photos of Reindeer & Color-Changing Eyes ] "I opened the eyes up on my lab bench and almost fell off my chair," Jeffery said. "The differences were so dramatic, and I knew no one had ever seen anything like that before. However, it has taken us 12 years to slowly find out what is going on and...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/...

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