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Talking Turkey: 8 Things You Didn’t Know about a Turkey’s Vision

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, watch football, and enjoy a bountiful meal prepared by the designated cook. Here’s some fun facts you can share with as you sit down to gobble up your Thanksgiving Day feast.

8 Things you didn’t know about a Turkey’s Vision:

  1. They have color vision.
  2. They have poor night vision.
  3. They have excellent visual acuity during daylight hours.
  4. They lack 3D vision, but compensate by bobbing their heads up and down to gather information about their surroundings.
  5. They have excellent peripheral vision to alert them of nearby predators.
  6. Their eyes are set apart on opposite sides of their heads, but the fact that they can rotate their necks 360° proves to be a great asset because they can survey their area from all angles.
  7. Single cone photoreceptors found in a turkey’s retina detect light to wavelengths near 400 nanometers, which is in the UVA light range. The ability to see UVA light helps birds when they are detecting prey, selecting a mate, and foraging for food.
  8. Hunters should be cautious of washing their clothes with phosphates and other chemicals that whiten or brighten clothes. These artificial brighteners glow a bright blue to turkeys, who can see the ultraviolet light as part of the color spectrum.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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