Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Researchers find first use of eyes for communication in non-primates

See also

The first proof that at least one non-primate species can use its eye to communicate with other members its own species was presented by Gabrielle Davidson of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom in the Feb. 4, 2014, edition of the journal Biology Letters.

Jackdaws are a variety of crow that nests in naturally occurring holes in trees. The birds cannot excavate the holes but compete for the prime nesting spots. Jackdaws are noted for their bright irises that contrast distinctively with the bird’s natural dark color.

Davidson randomly placed photographs of a black background, a pair of jackdaw eyes, a pair of jackdaw eyes in a jackdaw's face, or a jackdaw's face with a pair of black rook eyes in 100 nesting spots and found that the jackdaws avoided the nesting spots with the picture of a jackdaw with its bright eyes.

This is the first evidence that any other animal species uses its eyes for communication other than primates. The researchers contend that jackdaws use their eyes as a means to protect their nests.

The behavior may be dependent on eye or iris color but future research may indicate that communication through a species eyes is not a primate only adaptation as was previously thought.

Advertisement

News

  • Obama's Asia trip
    President Obama arrives in Asia, though he's not necessarily getting a warm welcome
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Ferry survivors deal with guilt
    The few heroes of the Korean ferry disaster deal with unimaginable survivor's guilt
    World News
  • Biden in Ukraine
    Vice President Biden urges Moscow to avoid further unrest in Ukraine
    Politics
  • Pujols hits 500th home run
    Albert Pujols becomes the latest player to hit 500 home runs in his career
    Camera
    Sports
  • North Korean nuclear test?
    South Korea detects another possible nuclear test from North Korea
    Headlines
  • NYPD's Twitter campaign backfires
    NYPD's campaign designed to amicably engage New Yorkers and cops backfires horribly
    Video
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!