|Well, here's the results so far on doing the reflective eyes thing, with my guys. :) Lots of pics.
A couple things I found, if using a camera instead of just a flashlight: you have to be close enough to hit 'em with the flash, but far enough that you don't illuminate their face with it or it ruins the effect. The farther away shots don't show much of the dog, but get MUCH better effect from the eyes.
Also, the angle has to be just right--dead level--for it to work properly. Otherwise you get 'erroneous readings' or diminished shine. This makes the higher content ones alot more difficult, because they walk all slinky with their head down. You almost need to make a sharp noise to surprise them into lifting their heads.
Neat, huh? ;) Am eagerly awaiting everyone else's results!
The theory behind it all:
There is a reflective substance in nocturnal animals' eyes that forms a mirror-like layer called the tapetum...this throws the light back through the retina again so it has a second chance to be utilized by the eye. From what I can tell so far, the guanine (reflective substance) is either more prevalent, or present in greater amounts, in the yellowish eyes wolfers often have. In blue eyes, such as found in huskies and siamese cats, for example, this appears to be diminished or nonexistent...and the eyes reflect back red (the same "red-eye" that humans and other animals that don't need to hunt or forage in the dark get. What you're actually seeing are the blood vessels behind the lens).
This may be another "use it or lose it" thing (?)--the need to see extremely well in the dark. If the gene for blue eyes is linked to this lack of a tapetum (and there's evidence that it is...'real' evidence, not from my Flashlight Experiment ;) then the blue eyes would be a natural disadvantage--poorer night vision for an animal that needs to see in the dark--and would be culled by natural selection in pure wolves.
Or maybe not, but all this sure was fun to toy with & speculate on ;)
~Sue! (EMAIL ME to add your results!)
|CLICK ANY PIC FOR A LARGER VERSION!|