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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)


Air Date: Week of

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The planet's natural calendar, with its cycles of hibernation, sprouting, fading and rebirth, can seem remote in our techno-filled lives. Tune in to the remedy: ECOtime. This week, we hear about eye-shine.



GELLERMEN: When it comes to nature - the eyes have it, as the folks at the ECOcalendar project remind us in this audio snapshot they call ECOtime.

HARDMAN: Eye Shine. We humans are diurnal, meaning we're daylight animals. We don't do well when we're in the dark. But others see just fine. Plenty of animals, including many fellow mammals, lions and tigers, and cats and dogs, have eyes that are able to reinforce small amounts of light.

Light goes in their eyes, and it hits the receptors. Then it bounces off a mirror-like membrane, called the tapetum lucidum, to hit the receptors again, so they see the light twice.

You've probably seen the effects of this reflector, at night, when light hits their eyes, it shoots back brightly. It's an eerie sight, partially because many of the animals that have the tapetum lucidum, are hunters.


GELLERMAN: That's Chris Hardman with ECOtime, part of the ECOcalendar project. For more, check our website loe.org.



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