In what's turning out to be a rather shocking revelation, researchers have learned that the majority of animals can see pulses of UV light produced by power lines. Because these flashes are often frightening, they may be having a detrimental affect on wildlife around the globe.
Ultraviolet sensitivity is common among animals such as insects and birds. And as we're now learning, the same can be said for many species of mammals — except primates. While we can't see UV light, at least 40 different mammalian species can, a list that includes cattle, reindeer, hedgehogs, dogs, cats, bats, ferrets, and okapis. These animals — who have adapted to nocturnal conditions or low-light Arctic winters — have a special characteristic that primates lack: a visual pigment that's maximally sensitive below 400 nanometers. What's more, some animals can still process UV even without such a pigment if they have eyes that can transmit at certain wavelengths.