Scotopic sensitivity in coyotes (Canis latrans).


The absolute scotopic limen for light intensity was measured for three 10-mo-old female coyotes. The methodology was similar to that used by Blough in determining psychophysical thresholds in pigeons. Three coyotes were operantly conditioned to depress one of two foot treadles, left or right, depending on the condition of the stimulus light. Scotopic adaptation curves for each coyote were generated. Nonlinear regression curves were then fitted to the raw data. The mean scotopic thresholds did not differ significantly. However, time to the curves' asymptotes did differ significantly for one of the coyotes. The adaptation curves showed a distinct rod-cone "break," and retinal histology confirmed that the coyote has a duplex retina with a preponderance of rods. In addition, electroretinographic analysis showed the relative contributions of rods and cones at various light intensities and indicated a rod-cone break at approximately 15 min. Scotopic spectral sensitivity curves were also generated. The coyotes' scotopic visual threshold is exceeded by the natural illumination available under many nocturnal conditions. The results are discussed in relation to the ecology of the species.

Cite this paper

@article{Horn1975ScotopicSI, title={Scotopic sensitivity in coyotes (Canis latrans).}, author={Steven W Horn and P. Lehner}, journal={Journal of comparative and physiological psychology}, year={1975}, volume={89 9}, pages={1070-6} }