Early Primates: Color-Filled Nights (The New York Times)

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The New York TimesThe New York Times reports that a study by Dartmouth’s Nathaniel Dominy and fellow researchers indicates that primates’ ability to see in three colors may not be the result of daytime living, as had been thought.

Dominy, an associate professor of anthropology, and his colleagues studied the modern tarsier, a nocturnal primate with oversized eyes. Based on genetic analyses, they concluded that tarsier ancestors also had the ability to see in three colors, and that this ability accompanied a nocturnal existence, the newspaper reports.

“Today there is no mammal we know of that has trichromatic vision that lives during night. … We think that tarsiers may have been active under relatively bright light conditions at dark times of the day,” Dominy tells the Times.

Read the full story, published 4/1/13 by The New York Times.