Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
New video games are increasingly seeking to target issues of social injustice in a user-friendly interface . VOA
  • Everyone who plays “Where is that Nightjar” is contributing to a study of animal vision
  • People could choose to play as a trichromat or a dichromat, and they had just 30 seconds to try to find each camouflaged bird
  • The Exeter Sensory Ecology Group has also developed games to study camouflage in other animals, like crabs and moths

USA, June 18, 2017: Like many online video games, the one developed by scientists at the University of Exeter challenges players to quickly find hidden objects, but with a twist. They’re not looking for gold or swords or magical mirrors in an imaginary universe, but for birds in real photos. And everyone who plays “Where is that Nightjar” is contributing to a study of animal vision.

Nightjars are ground-nesting birds, whose mottled feathers help them disappear into the fallen leaves and twigs where they lay their eggs. They are hunted by a variety of predators and rely on their camouflage for their survival.


Some predators, such as mongooses, are color-blind and cannot see reds and greens. They are called dichromats. Others, like baboons and humans, are trichromats, and can see a wider range of colors. Researchers wanted to know how color vision affected an animal’s ability to find camouflaged prey.


A side-by-side comparison of the same images, seen as a trichromat (left) and a dichromat (right). VOA

“A huge number of mammals are dichromats,” ecologist Jolyon Troscianko explains. “But it does not take a huge evolutionary leap to develop this third color channel. So it is surprising that this has not happened more often in nature, suggesting there could be some advantage to being a dichromat.”

The game uses actual photos of nightjars, manipulated so the images appear as they would through the eyes of a dichromat predator, and also as we would see them. People could choose to play as a trichromat or a dichromat, and they had just 30 seconds to try to find each camouflaged bird.

After 30,000 volunteers played the game, the researchers got some surprising results, published in Behavioural Ecology.

Scientists assumed that dichromats, which are better at differentiating between light and shadow, would be better at finding camouflaged prey. But the trichromat competitors found the birds and their eggs faster, at first. Troscianko says as the game progressed, the dichromats improved faster, and were performing equally well by the end of the game.

“That shows that there is a huge element of learning, which has previously been largely ignored in the importance of camouflage. But if a predator in the wild is learning to try to find one type of prey, one type of camouflage faster than another, that could actually change the whole dynamics of an ecosystem where there is now a disadvantage to having a camouflage type that is easily learned by predators over time.”

The Exeter Sensory Ecology Group has also developed games to study camouflage in other animals, like crabs and moths. (VOA)


Popular

Photo by Pixabay

Upcoming medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages

The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.

The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.

These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.

The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.

The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.

The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.

It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.

The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Indian cricket team on the ground

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked India as the favourite to win the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Inzamam feels that the Virat Kohli-led India have a greater chance of winning the trophy as the conditions in the Gulf nations are similar to the subcontinent, which makes India the most dangerous side in the event, according to Inzamam.

"In any tournament, it cannot be said for certain that a particular team will win' It's all about how much chance do they have of winning it. In my opinion, India have a greater chance than any other team of winning this tournament, especially in conditions like these. They have experienced T20 players as well," said Inzamam on his YouTube channel.

He said more than the Indian batters, the bowlers have a lot of experience of playing in the conditions. The Indian Premier League (IPL) was played recently in UAE and most of the Indian bowlers did well in that leg.

Inzy heaped praises on the Men in Blue for the confident manner in which they chased the target against Australia on a challenging track without needing Kohli's batting prowess.

"India played their warm-up fixture against Australia rather comfortably. On subcontinent pitches like these, India are the most dangerous T20 side in the world. Even today, if we see the 155 runs they chased down, they did not even need Virat Kohli to do so," he added.

Though he did not pick any favourite, Inzamam termed the India-Pakistan clash in the Super 12 on October 24 as the 'final before the final' and said the team winning it will go into the remaining matches high on morale,

"The match between India and Pakistan in the Super 12s is the final before the final. No match will be hyped as much as this one. Even in the 2017 Champions Trophy, India and Pakistan started and finished the tournament by facing each other, and both the matches felt like finals. The team winning that match will have their morale boosted and will also have 50 percent of pressure released from them," Inzamam added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Sports, ICC T20 World Cup, UAE.


Photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough.

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough. It is commonly observed that while many people take their skincare routine seriously, a majority of them neglect to moisturise the body. It is important to keep in mind that timing matters a lot when it comes to applying moisturisers. Therefore, knowing the appropriate time to apply body lotion is essential.

Take a look at the ideal times to moisturise your body shared by Kimi Jain, Head of Retail, KIMRICA.

Morning
Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. The skin is constantly exposed to harsh chemicals and pollutants when you're outside which is why using a protective and soothing moisturiser while going out is necessary. Kimirica's Five Elements Body Lotion comes with natural Aloe Vera extracts that act as a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that helps protect your skin and provide a deep nourishing effect.

man in white crew neck t-shirt Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. | Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Keep reading... Show less