The UV light that leads to snow blindness, a condition that causes humans a great deal of pain, albeit temporarily, is actually vital to creatures which live in Arctic conditions, such as reindeer, a recent study has indicated.
According to research carried out by experts at University College London, this is part of a reindeer"s unique adaptation to the environment in which it lives.
Lead researcher Professor Glen Jeffery explained that it allows them to take in "live-saving information" in conditions where the vision of normal mammals could potentially make them vulnerable to starvation, predators and conflict over issues such as territory.
He explained: "We discovered that reindeer can not only see UV light but they can also make sense of the image to find food and stay safe. Humans and almost all other mammals could never do this as our lenses just don"t let UV through into the eye."
by Emily Tait