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#861908 - 11/04/09 03:16 PM Light will blind a glider
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
I've seen it posted so many times that exposure to light will damage a glider's eyes or cause them to go blind.

While they are nocturnal and their eyes are developed to see better in the dark, to say that light will cause them to go blind is false. Long term exposure to bright light (such as direct sun light) may cause damage (just as it can our's) but brief exposures won't damage them. It might be uncomfortable for them much as when we walk out of a movie theater into the bright sunlight but it isn't going to blind them.

Flash on cameras, same thing. It can be uncomfortable and because of that, I don't recommend to many flash photos in a short amount of time but the flash isn't going to blind them either.

A glider's eyes are capable of contracting and dialating just as human eyes. They just do so at different rates and abilities.
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#861913 - 11/04/09 03:27 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
MizValorie Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2579
Loc: Sherman, Texas
I agree. I know I have walked outside many a times with my babies outside of my shirt and they still continue to play as if nothing has changed.
_________________________
Valorie and our 10 fur children

RIP Mary Kate

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#862167 - 11/05/09 12:22 AM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: MizValorie]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
When Kira was little, I had to safety pin her pouch closed because if we were somewhere outside where there were a bunch of people (like fairs or art shows, etc.) she would unzip her pouch and climb up to sit on my shoulder. I initially worried about the sun exposure, but discovered she didn't care, so I let her come out if she wanted to on those kinds of ventures. smile

If you look at different pictures of gliders, you can see their pupils dilated and constricted depending on the light around them.
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#862180 - 11/05/09 01:06 AM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: sugarlope]
eden
Unregistered


Can you post proof please? I agree that it shouldn't cause blindness but the eyes of a nocturnal animal are far more sensitive to light then a species such as ourselves that have evolved to tolerate much higher exposure to it so to compare them to us is anthropomorphism. I would just like to know what your sources are to confirm what you are saying.

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#862277 - 11/05/09 11:14 AM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
For me my source is my 11 plus years of experience with gliders including a total of almost 300 gliders through my home over those years AND the 4 different vets I've used over the years telling me exactly the same thing. Not to mention asking the (human) opthamalogist I worked for. You would be amazed at how many gliders I've had outside in the sun, in side in brightly lit rooms and how many flash photos I've taken.

Where's the proof that it can blind them?
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#862327 - 11/05/09 01:17 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I am in the same boat as Dancing on this, I have my 8 1/2 year old that liked getting out when the sun was out and the way all of my other gliders have been in bright light as well as my vets saying that some light is not bothersome or harmful (excessive sunlight can be, just as it is for us). Kira doesn't shy away from it at all (when going from shade to sun as I walk) and you can physically see that their pupils are tiny when they are in bright light, versus being huge when they are in the dark.

Would I put their cage in direct sunlight without any kind of hiding place for them, no (for more reasons than the light alone). And I do not take them out into the sun every day, nor force them into bright lights regularly, but I don't worry about flashes on cameras or some exposure to sunlight either.

Here is a great set of pictures, from BMXgirl's site, showing the different size of the pupils;
http://bmxglider.tripod.com/eyes3.jpg
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#862333 - 11/05/09 01:31 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: sugarlope]
StitchsMom Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 10569
Loc: IL (St. Louis area)
If flash photos caused blindness, Gizmo, my oldest glider, would be 100% blind by now. I take dozens and dozens of pictures of my gliders...almost all with a flash. I just limit how many I take at one time. I don't like flash "ghosts" in my vision anymore than I bet my gliders do, but I don't think it causes any harm. Just my opinion!
_________________________
~*~Jenny and the fur kids~*~

:grey: :grey: :grey: :leu:

>>> Sugar Glider Slave <<<

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#862340 - 11/05/09 01:46 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: StitchsMom]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
I live in the country. While it is uncommon, I often see nocturnal animals out in the daylight (racoons, owls, opossums, etc) and none of those seemed to be walking or flying around blindly either.

While their eyes are more sensitive to light, it does not mean they can not adjust to it (contract their pupils). Just as if I spend enough time outside at night, my night vision becomes more acute because my eyes adjust to the darkness. Will I ever be able to see as well at night as a glider? Nope, seriously boubt it. Can my gliders see as well as I can in the sunlight? Don't know. Perhaps they can see better, perhaps not. But it hasn't blinded any of my gliders to date (and my oldest glider is 13 yrs old and seems to still see just fine!)
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#862508 - 11/05/09 07:44 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
eden
Unregistered


Thanks for the info. I don't actually believe it can blind them but I wanted more proof than just "I have owned them for x number of years and never seen it" because that is not real proof at all as it has no scientific backing. That is awesome that you got the information from a few different sources though that are specialists in that field. I wonder how light affects Albino and Creamino Gliders though. Those with Albinism should be much more affected than normal. I work with a lot of reptiles and the Albinos have a much higher sensitivity to light and seem to have a far higher ratio of eye deffects or congenital eye problems. Any thoughts?


Edited by eden (11/05/09 07:44 PM)

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#862527 - 11/05/09 08:14 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Quote:
more proof than just "I have owned them for x number of years and never seen it" because that is not real proof at all as it has no scientific backing.


What you need to understand is that gliders are not well "scientifically studied" so often all we do have to go off of is the experience of glider owners.

I have more experience with gliders than most do because of how long I've had them and how many I've cared for over the years, both my own gliders and the rescues that have come through my home, many having stayed here for long amounts of time.

To disreguard that experience is a shame. I am no way saying I'm an expert as honestly, there are NO glider experts. I'm not saying I'm the most experienced either. But when those of us that DO have the experience are disregarded because of lack of "scientific proof" there is so much wasted knowledge. So many with the knowledge just have stopped posting and sharing what they know because of all those that have come along over the years telling them they don't know what they are talking about because they have no scientific proof.

Not everything in this world can be backed up by science. The assumption that light can or can not blind a glider could be IF there were scientific facilities and staff willing to do the studies on them. However, there is not.

You seem to want to challenge every post I make. SHOW ME your credentials regarding sugar gliders. Give me a reason to not discount your input as you seem so willing to do with me.

You know what, never mind...
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#862582 - 11/05/09 09:31 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
SugarBlossoms Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 5830
Loc: USA
I have never had a problem with my gliders in daylight. Some have gone outside for years, it doesn't bother them. I don't think it bothers them anymore than us, if it's okay for us, it's fine with them, if it's too bright for our eyes, then it probably would bother them. Common sense is the key here, I won't look at the sun directly and I TRY to avoid too many camera flashes in MY eyes so I practice the same with my gliders. As with humans, there will always be some gliders that are more sensitive to light. My leu and mosaic can see just fine in the daytime too.
_________________________
Keeper of Handprints on my Heart, You left your Footprints on my soul.
My precious loves that left to quickly, Peanut, Katie
Isabella, Kiwi, Bonnie and Monroe.

Spread your wings and glide free of pain,
Until the day I see you again.

God speed my precious angels. I love you. Mama.

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#862612 - 11/05/09 10:05 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: SugarBlossoms]
USMom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 7356
Loc: Austin, TX
Eden, all scientific proof is based on observation. We observe our gliders in the light, and my vet even checks their eyes with light, and they can still see. That is proof that light doesn't blind them. There isn't a group on the planet that would fund a study for this. I have 27 gliders, with 5 years of experience. Not one single blind one here. We have done lots of trips, vet checks, nail clipping in the light, playtime in the light, flash photos, etc, they're fine.
_________________________
Shawna
Who are you networked with? Networking could save your gliders life. Create one now.


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#862821 - 11/06/09 01:50 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
eden
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: Dancing
What you need to understand is that gliders are not well "scientifically studied" so often all we do have to go off of is the experience of glider owners.

I have more experience with gliders than most do because of how long I've had them and how many I've cared for over the years, both my own gliders and the rescues that have come through my home, many having stayed here for long amounts of time.

To disreguard that experience is a shame. I am no way saying I'm an expert as honestly, there are NO glider experts. I'm not saying I'm the most experienced either. But when those of us that DO have the experience are disregarded because of lack of "scientific proof" there is so much wasted knowledge. So many with the knowledge just have stopped posting and sharing what they know because of all those that have come along over the years telling them they don't know what they are talking about because they have no scientific proof.


Dancing, let me just clarify, I whole-heartedly agree with you that experience is very valuable and that if it is not taken into consideration then a lot of good knowledge is wasted. I absolutely agree!! Its just that some claims, especially when it is not behavioural, it is actually something biological going on inside their body, tend to be thrown around by a lot of people with lots of experience but there is no real proof for it. Let me try to explain, you have been involved with Gliders for a long time and have never noticed any damage but unless you are checking their eyes with actual equipment for optical exams you would not really know if there was any damage going on, even on a small scale. Also, you would have to have checked the eyes of many Gliders over the course of their entire lives to see if there were any changes. I think anyones years of experience are worth something but you have to be careful because as you have said, years of experience are subjective and not based in science so it is possible to miss details or perhaps what one person's experience has been is completely different from another's. I was not trying to be combative I just wanted wanted to know what you were basing this on. It is like a dog breeder that, just because they have been breeding dogs for 15 years and have never seen one of their animals have kidney failure, they claim that it doesn't happen in that breed. The problem is how would she know that her dogs didn't have kidney damage if there were no tests or necropsies ever performed and you cannot make a generalised claim about an entire breed from the observations of just a small group of animals. I hope that explains it better. I am not trying to compare you to that situation, just trying to clarify myself using an analogy. I never expected there to be studies or journal articles on how light affects the eyes of Sugar Gliders, that is just not going to happen lol. I just wanted to know if you had read articles about light affecting other nocturnal animals or had spoken to vets or something along those lines.

Originally Posted By: Dancing
You seem to want to challenge every post I make. SHOW ME your credentials regarding sugar gliders. Give me a reason to not discount your input as you seem so willing to do with me.

You know what, never mind...


I think if you go back and read through posts that have been made between you and I both direct and indirect, you will notice that it is YOU that is always challenging ME. You were the one that challenged me on why I don't believe grapes are completely safe. You were the one who called me out in the thread for Super WFB because your information was false and you didn't understand what I was writing. Actually, if you read back there are at least 2 posts in which I specifically say that I ABSOLUTELY AGREE with something that you posted specifically. Perhaps you are being more combative than you think. I have just as much right to post as you do and I certainly have the qualifications from years of involvement in exotic animal breeding and rescue, just like you do. I am not trying to be combative with you at all, actually I welcome the debates we have had because when two good minds challenge each other they force each other to grow and learn. If everyone just agreed all the time then nobody would excel and there wouldn't be half as much amazing information posted on forums like these. I welcome your challenge just as I would with any other member wishing to debate, it gives us all an opportunity to learn and be pushed past our comfort zone so that we can grow as individuals. If you would like to speak in a private message setting I would be more than happy to discuss anything there. I certainly do not have any negative feelings towards you, in fact I feel you are an integral part of this community and you are an excellent source of information.


Edited by eden (11/06/09 01:57 PM)

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#862825 - 11/06/09 02:05 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: USMom]
MizValorie Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2579
Loc: Sherman, Texas
Originally Posted By: USMom
Eden, all scientific proof is based on observation. We observe our gliders in the light, and my vet even checks their eyes with light, and they can still see. That is proof that light doesn't blind them. There isn't a group on the planet that would fund a study for this. I have 27 gliders, with 5 years of experience. Not one single blind one here. We have done lots of trips, vet checks, nail clipping in the light, playtime in the light, flash photos, etc, they're fine.


I agree Shawna.
_________________________
Valorie and our 10 fur children

RIP Mary Kate

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#862856 - 11/06/09 04:07 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: MizValorie]
eden
Unregistered


I just want to clarify, I never said that I believed it COULD blind them. I don't think it can, but I also think it is possible for light to cause minor damage since the eyes of nocturnal animals are very different from our own in structure. Here are some sites that I have found with more information on the subject. Having lots of experience with Gliders is awesome and it gives us insight that is very valuable but it is certainly not infallable proof and that is why open discussions are important. Asking for scientific proof or at least some sort of evidence that is based more in science does not discount the value of experience and it certainly should not be seen as disrespectful. It is simply asking for a more well-rounded foundation from which to form beliefs. If anyone takes offense to it they are being oversensitive instead of seeing it as a learning opportunity.

Physiology of the Nocturnal Eye:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/kalahari/nocturnaleye.html

Cataracts can be caused by over-exposure to light:
http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts.asp

This is a book link that talks about the shape of the pupil, number of rods vs cones and the function of the tapetum all having an influence on the degree of sensitivity they have to light. It would appear that although they have the ability to restrict bright light to safer amounts entering the eye during the day, they have a completely different eye structure than us that is evolved to allow as much light as possible to enter the eye to allow for good vision at night, therefor, exposing them to daylight too often or for prolonged periods could actually be harmful to them as their eyes are MUCH more sensitive than ours to light. It also raises a very interesting point that Sugar Gliders, as with other nocturnal animals, may actually be colour blind.
http://books.google.ca/books?id=Cf22zHoS...ght&f=false

Article explaining that nocturnal animals have DNA that is specifically designed "to turn each cell into a light collecting lens". She demonstrates that they have the ability to see light about a million times more effectively than us which makes them a million times more light sensitive.
http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience...ed_dna_into.php

Just something to think about....
I agree that all the evidence suggests that light is not as damaging as you would think to their eyes and they are very good at adapting to high-light situations, HOWEVER, if nocturnal animals were meant to handle light like diurnal species then they would not be active at night ONLY. They are nocturnal for a reason. Even if it does not cause damage, it is probably not very comfortable for them over long periods.

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#862868 - 11/06/09 04:57 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: ]
Sabarika Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 1712
Loc: nKY
My unscientific theory is that these animals may be subject to sunlight in their natural environment--filtering into their dens, they may be disturbed by a predator and make a quick escape to a different tree--all done in daylight. If this doesn't blind them then a SMALL amount of light should not harm them. Of course we are not talking about the amount of light a diurnal animal receives in its' lifetime but I don't feel that small amounts of light (camera flash, taking them out in the day for a couple hours) will detriment them.

I haven't read the articles eden posted yet though, but am very interested. When people ask if light blinds gliders I assume they are asking if ANY light, ambient light, or small exposures such as flash will blind them outright. Based on collective experience the answer appears to be no.. we take photos with flash, we carry our gliders during the day and we haven't found conclusive evidence that our gliders have been blinded by it. If they are asking if repeated extensive exposure to light such as a non-nocturnal animal would receive can harm gliders..I don't know. I've never seen a completely diurnal glider that preferred to spend its' days hanging out by the sunny window. Perhaps long term repeat exposure could harm them, but nobody has experimented with that.
_________________________
Sabarika
Photography
Cash :rtmo: cloud9 :rtmo: Xpense

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#862874 - 11/06/09 05:06 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Sabarika]
MizValorie Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2579
Loc: Sherman, Texas
Eden, while I have agreed with you on somethings, I don't agree with you now. Science is not the end all be all of everything. I'm sorry but where gliders are concerned I would take experience over science ANY DAY.

The way your post comes across *to me* is that since there is no scientific proof then there is no reasoning behind what we say. But there is. Years of experience has taught us what no scientist in his/her little lab could.
_________________________
Valorie and our 10 fur children

RIP Mary Kate

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#862906 - 11/06/09 06:15 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: MizValorie]
Sabarika Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 1712
Loc: nKY
Has anyone asked their vet if they have experience with nocturnal animals having light sensitivity? Articles I am reading (including what eden posted) point out that cats are nocturnal-active animals with slit pupils but I have yet to see a healthy cat who is damaged by sunlight. I have seen owls, a distinctly nocturnal bird, flying in the daytime and they have enormous eyes well-adjusted to their nocturnal lifestyle. Perhaps they are not comfortable exposed to bright light for long periods but even on sunny days they are still seen out and about and do not appear damaged when they hunt at night. Articles I found touched on "nocturnal animals have light-sensitive eyes so be cautious when exposing to bright light" but only show that the methods nocturnal animals use to protect their eyes are pupil constriction.
Are we arguing that gliders as nocturnal animals CANNOT be exposed to light because it will harm them or that they should not be exposed to direct, harsh, BRIGHT light for extended periods?

If you take a photo of a glider in a dark room and let the flash go off that can be considered exposure to harsh light because their pupils have adjusted to a dim setting and are not prepared for a bright flash. Take a photo of a glider who has had time to adjust to ambient lighting in a typical room with sun-lit window and the flash is much less harsh on their eyes because their pupils are already smaller from adjusting to the ambient light. If your camera has "no redeye" mode this works best because it conducts a series of pre-flashes that are meant to make the subject's pupil contract to adjust for the actual flash and reduce red-eye (light bouncing off the retina). Is this considered harmful? Or is this an example of "appropriate" light for gliders?

A quip from an article from BioMEDIA Associates:
Quote:
Back In The Daylight

But what happens to these night-time specialists during the day? Most nocturnal animals are largely inactive during the day to avoid over-stimulating their highly sensitive eyes. Nocturnal animals have specialized pupils to shut out damaging bright light.

Pupils are usually circular; it's the most effective shape for allowing light into the eye. Indeed, nocturnal animals dilate their pupils to their circular maximum at night.

But by day, the circular pupil is inefficient at blocking light. Instead, a variety of pupil shapes have evolved that limit incoming light, the most advanced being the vertical slit. The slit pupil can shut out all light except a narrow band. Its vertical orientation is of significance too, as it works well with eyelids. As an animal squints, partially closing its lids at right angles to the vertical slit pupil, it further reduces the amount of light entering its eye. Perhaps the most noteworthy of all pupils is the stenopeic pupil of the gecko, a vertical slit lined with notches on each margin. When the pupil is entirely closed, tiny pinholes allow light to pass through to the retina creating sharp overlapping images.

Gliders have a circular pupil, several articles mention that this is the least efficient pupil shape for blocking out light. Does this mean they are by nature more adapted to adjust to light or does it mean they are more prone to sunlight damage when exposed?

Light is important to nocturnal mammals as well as diurnal because of our circadian rhythms. If we (humans) didn't experience night-time on the cycle we are accustomed to our bodies would have a difficult time adjusting our sleep patterns, we rely on it getting dark out to tell our bodies "ok, time to shut down and sleep" while nocturnal animals use daylight as their signal to bed down. If we didn't expose our gliders to any light at all wouldn't that mess up their cycles?

An article about flash photography and light damage to eyes:
Quote:
Phototoxic retinopathy, or permanent damage to retinal nerve cells as a result of light energy, has been studied in humans and other animals. Extreme unfiltered bright light, focused onto the retina through surgical microscope lenses has been documented to produce permanent retinal damage. To cause either microscopically evident or grossly visible lesions, the light must be held in focus on a single area of the retina for an extended period of time. This situation generally occurs in specialized surgery, when anesthetic agents prevent the movement of the eye. Operating microscopes for ophthalmology are now all equipped with specialized filters to prevent phototoxic retinopathy even with extended procedures.

Laser, by definition a highly focused beam of light energy, may produce retinal damage. In fact, in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments and other diseases of the eye, laser is employed to purposefully burn selected areas of the retina. It is capable of doing this, even with very brief periods of exposure, because the light is highly focused. Therefore, when considering the possible damage to the retina by any light source, both its intensity and degree of focus must be assessed.

Quote:
For more than 20 years, researchers and clinicians have used the ERG test (electroretinogram) to study function and diseases of the retina. This test involves using a strobe light stimulator to record electrical signals originating from the rods and cones. Protocols vary by testing laboratories. The rod cells are usually tested by first dark-adapting the subject, i.e., placing the subject in a dark room from 5-20 minutes, and then subjecting the retina to a dim flash of light. The light is increased to full power and then flickered at 40Hz to isolate the cone cells for testing. The stimulator or strobe light is generally positioned within a few centimeters of the cornea for testing. Grass stimulator units produce diffuse light like a camera strobe, but of much greater intensity. For cone testing, the full power flash is flickered 40 times per second for several seconds in duration. Although the light is intense and positioned close to the subject, it is not highly focused and, consequently, does not permanently damage the retina.

On flash and animals, nocturnal included:
Quote:
Fill-flash involves the balance of ambient and artificial lighting. In situations when fill-flash is used, cone cells are active, and they are designed to work in all but dim light. Because of this, the use of fill-flash on animals and birds is not likely to have any effect on their visual systems. Cone cells do not bleach to a nonfunctional state in bright light as the rod cells do.

Flash as main light in dim light conditions can produce a temporary reduction in vision but not permanent damage.

In total darkness, use of flash may cause a temporary reduction in vision for 5-20 minutes. It takes one hour of dark conditioning to achieve maximum electrical responses from rod cells in the retina. The regeneration of rod function even after "bleaching" by a bright light is not linear with time. Animals and birds probably have 50% return of function in the first five minutes, and 75% in another five minutes. The rods are rapidly moving from zero function to full sensitivity during that time, with the greatest return of function per time unit occurring in the first 10-15 minutes.

Because of the initial impairment of vision from flash in total darkness, repeated flash of birds or animals in this situation is not advocated. Ethical nature photographers avoid altering their subjectís behavior. The judicious use of flash in completely dark situations causing a brief vision alteration must be offset by the educational value of the photograph made. Technically excellent pictures of owls and other animals in their natural environment made at night with flash may, in the end, benefit the species as a result of increased public awareness. In select situations, the use of flash may be justified. Many nocturnal species rely upon other senses in combination with vision during dim or dark conditions; for example, the auditory capabilities of owls at night are probably far more important for hunting as compared with the visual sense.

Quote:
In summary, to produce phototoxic retinopathy, or permanent damage, a focused intense light must be held in one location on the retina for a time several magnitudes greater than the duration of a camera flash. Fill-flash is not likely to have any effect on visual systems; flash as main light in dim light conditions may produce a temporary reduction in vision but not permanent damage. Flash on nocturnal subjects during nighttime should be used sparingly due to brief impairment of vision.

Flash does not cause permanent damage to the eyes of animals or people, even at close range. The eye is developed to handle bright light, such as the sun. This is the reason the rod cells "turn off" in bright light. Flash is diffused light when it reaches the subject. Only very highly focused light, like looking at the sun through your telephoto, or laser application, would be expected to cause permanent retinal damage.


These articles pretty much state that while nocturnal animals are adjusted to a dark environment they are also equipped with protective measures to prevent excess light from entering the eyes and damaging them. Pupils will constrict. The second article touches on the amount and intensity of light needed to cause DAMAGE in humans and animals. It appears that normal exposure to sunlight and OCCASIONAL exposure to camera flash in dim-lit situations is not enough to permanently damage the eyes, but may cause temporary decrease in sensitivity. If you've ever had your picture taken in a dark room and weren't prepared you probably know the feeling--blobs in your vision, trouble focusing, speckles..it goes away quickly though. It seems in that situation the same goes for gliders..they may have temporary vision problems but no permanent damage.
_________________________
Sabarika
Photography
Cash :rtmo: cloud9 :rtmo: Xpense

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#863065 - 11/06/09 11:52 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Sabarika]
USMom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 7356
Loc: Austin, TX
Eden, you did not make clear in your posts, until today at 4pm (my time) that you are looking at anything other than blindness. So, while you are thinking you are talking about the possibility of minute damage, this post clearly states we are discussing blindness, a permanent inability to see, and that term is used frequently by several of the posters. I do not believe one has to be a doctor to recognize if their pet suddenly can no longer see. So, our observations and experience are sufficient to determine the outcome of this hypothesis.
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#863094 - 11/07/09 03:19 AM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: USMom]
JillMarie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 7748
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks to all who posted here! I LOVE to take photos of my babies, but have always worried about the flash. I usually have the lights on and use the flash as "fill light" but I was still concerned. Thank you Sabarika for the very technical info that helped to calm my fears....especially as I just took some photos of Arwen and she was a bit stunned, but in about 5 minutes or so, seemed back to normal. I dont like to use flash, but sometimes you have to. as for sunlight.... I always try to sheild their eyes with my hand until they adjust. I never just "pop" them out into a bright day. I dont like that myself and feel why would they? My hubby's Frodo comes out during the day all the time and doesnt seem to mind. Gizmo hates the sun, or any bright light.
thanks again everyone! This was an informative thread!
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#864578 - 11/10/09 09:47 AM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: JillMarie]
eden
Unregistered


MizValorie: I am sorry but I respectfully disagree with you. As I have already stated, I place great importance on personal experience but it was a very large flaw; it is fallable and completely subjective. Science is normally indisputable and uses evidence that personal experience could never give us. To disregard science in favour of personal experience is just as irrational as the other way around.

I want to make something very clear so that my words are not misinterpreted. I FIRMLY believe that personal experience, while valuable, does not give us the evidence and intimate biological or physiological data that science is capable of producing. Since personal experience is fallable and completely subjective, it is inferior to the proven methods and information of science. HOWEVER, I believe that forming beliefs based on both science AND personal experience is far greater and more powerful than either one by itself.

Sabarika: The round-shaped pupil was described as the least efficient shape, meaning that they are most likely to be affected by flash from cameras or sunlight. Slit pupils can be further protected by the eyelids closing partially to allow much less light in while round-shaped pupils could only restrict light so far.
"Pupils are mostly circular, which is the most effective form for maximum dilation at night, and for projecting a clear image regardless of the direction of the incoming light. Coupled with a wide cornea this increases the field of view while the head and eyes remain still. However, the circular pupil is the least effective design for closing quickly or completely, due to the iris muscles bunching as they contract, and generally is less efficient at blocking light by day, while still allowing a degree of vision."- http://books.google.ca/books?id=Cf22zHoS...ght&f=false
Also, cats cannot be used as a comparative species because they are crepuscular, not nocturnal.
I wanted to also say that I really enjoyed reading those sources you quoted, thanks for the excellent info.


USMom: I am sorry if I wasn't clear, I didn't intend to talk only of blindness, what I was trying to say was that we are not sure of any effects on the eyes without research being done on their physiology and also studies over a long period of time. I know we would definitely notice if they went completely blind, my point was that we should not be saying that we definitely know what light will and will not cause because we really don't know for sure. We could find out in 5 years that older Gliders are starting to go blind because of the light they were exposed to throughout their lives. I have no idea if that will happen, I am just saying that we don't know the answers yet. The problem is that without strict clarification, people might think that if it doesn't cause blindness because somebody here said so then it is ok to subject them to light for extended periods of time which, even though it may not cause blindness, it could cause minimal damages. Also, we just don't know if it causes blindness, it certainly doesn't appear to and Sabarika's sources were excellent and seemed to suggest that it won't, but we do not know because Gliders are a very special circumstance in captivity. There are not many stricly nocturnal animals in captivity that are exposed to light the way Sugar Gliders are so maybe that means that they will be affected in a way that was unforseen because they have been exposed to unnatural living conditions in captivity. I do not know the answer, nobody does.

There is nothing wrong with not having the answer to a question, but to assume an answer is a very dangerous thing. A little bit of knowledge can do more harm than none at all.

Just something to think about, If a new member signed up and asked if they could switch their Glider over to being awake during the day and asleep at night we would all tell them that is not healthy for it, I'm sure. Wouldn't one of your reasons be because it is a nocturnal species and is not comfortable being in the light because it's eyes are so sensitive to it? Here is a thread where an individual asked that exact question and although most were honest and posted that they don't know the physical effects, a few did speak out against it because they have very sensitive eyes. They also brought up the point that to have them awake during the day could alter their chemical balance and cause detrimental health effects. That is another reason I think we should be careful to give the go-ahead to exposing our Gliders to light on a regular basis or for extended periods, because the eyes may not be what gets effected but something else in the body will which is just as serious a health risk. That is why we should be careful with what claims we make based on personal experience without having all the facts. Thanks to science we know that messing around with the internal clock of any animal can cause serious effects on its circadian rhythm, so perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to disregard it. Science provides us with information that we would not have otherwise known about and in this case, it certainly does. Thanks to science we know that the eye itself is not the only part of the body to be worried about when exposing a nocturnal animal to light.
http://www.glidercentral.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/855715/Getting_gliders_up_during_the_
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin



Edited by eden (11/10/09 10:06 AM)

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#864686 - 11/10/09 01:22 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
This thread was to discuss whether light exposure would blind a glider not whether or not it would disrupt other aspects of the glider's health. Also not whether or not you can switch a glider's sleep pattern.

Kristen, you seem to always want to argue the aspects of scientific study when dealing with the glider questions. This doesn't work simply because there have been NO indepth scientific studies done. While it would be AWESOME if there were, we simply do not have that to fall back on. Sad but true. There just isn't enough interest in the "scientific community" to fully study these animals. Until such a time as there are the studies done, we can only go on what we know. Science does not hold all the answers either. With under studied animals, we often have to go off of personal experience to determine what is known and what is not.

There is no scientific study that shows that gliders will eat a house mouse given the chance but I KNOW it can happen because I've SEEN it happen. Because there is no scientific study to prove it, does not negate the realality of it.

Here's what I know. I have a 13 yr old glider who over the years has had MANY MANY MANY flash photos taken of him. He has also been out in the sunlight, been in brightly lit rooms and rooms with soft ambient light. He appears to be able to see just fine. He can see a mealie scooting across the floor (that I dropped) from 4-5 feet away without problems in soft ambient light or in natural night time light (I live in the country so natural night light is just that, no city lights making things brigher). He seems to be able to see fine in bright light though not as well as the darker light. Something that I consider normal for a nocturnal animal.

I also know that "scientic studies" are simply stating a hypothsis and then creating situations to prove or disprove that hypothsis and being able to reproduce the situation to achieve the same results consistantly. It does not take a lab or science degrees to do scientific studies.

I also know that there has NOT been ANY evidence presented, either scientifically or otherwise, to suggest that light will blind gliders. Quite the opposite in fact. Over the years, the gliders I've heard about that are truely blind are blind because of infection, malnutrition (either for themselves or the parents prior to being born and weening) or injury to the eyes themselves (such as corneal abbrasions). NOT ONCE have I heard of anyone saying that light blinded THEIR glider.

Constantly asking for scientific proof is pointless in many/most glider related questions. There simply is not the scientific proof out there. So we must rely on antidotal evidence in it's place. But by all means, feel free to line up the labs and "scientists" to conduct the studies so we will have definitive answers for you.
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#864690 - 11/10/09 01:32 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
MizValorie Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2579
Loc: Sherman, Texas
While I appreciate you,eden, trying to further the knowledge of the glider community I do have to agree with Dancing on these few points.

Originally Posted By: Dancing

There is no scientific study that shows that gliders will eat a house mouse given the chance but I KNOW it can happen because I've SEEN it happen. Because there is no scientific study to prove it, does not negate the realality of it.

I also know that "scientic studies" are simply stating a hypothsis and then creating situations to prove or disprove that hypothsis and being able to reproduce the situation to achieve the same results consistantly. It does not take a lab or science degrees to do scientific studies.


Also I am sorry but science is just as fallible as personal experience.

Thats not to say science doesnt have some part in the glider world but that in reality what scientist is going to take their time, and money to figure these things out for us glider people?
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#864731 - 11/10/09 03:15 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: MizValorie]
eden
Unregistered


Well I guess we can just respectfully agree to disagree. I guess my background and experience in a different animal field that relies heavily on science as well as personal experience has made me a bit biased. I feel that scientific evidence from other areas of study can always be applied to Sugar Gliders or any other situation that it is relevant to when extrapolated to a similar topic, so just because there are no studies done on Glider specifically doesn't mean that the evidence from related studies can't be turned to for answers.

Dancing, I respect your position and feel that there is an awful lot of evidence to suggest that your original hypothesis is correct. All I wanted was more information on which to base my own judgement or belief of this topic and I feel that there has been a TON of excellent information posted on this thread.

We can't always see from the same point of view but we can certainly see eye to eye and respect each other's position smile

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#864740 - 11/10/09 03:24 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Quote:
We can't always see from the same point of view but we can certainly see eye to eye and respect each other's position


Absolutely! And considering we all have the glider's best interest at heart, really, nothing but good can come out of discussions like this. Like you, we all wish there WAS the scientific studies on gliders we could fall back on. Maybe given enough time...
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The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#912495 - 02/26/10 04:35 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
Marsupial_Mayhem Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 07/24/04
Posts: 1523
Loc: Lake Havasu City, AZ
Originally Posted By: Dancing
Quote:
more proof than just "I have owned them for x number of years and never seen it" because that is not real proof at all as it has no scientific backing.


What you need to understand is that gliders are not well "scientifically studied" so often all we do have to go off of is the experience of glider owners.

I have more experience with gliders than most do because of how long I've had them and how many I've cared for over the years, both my own gliders and the rescues that have come through my home, many having stayed here for long amounts of time.

To disreguard that experience is a shame. I am no way saying I'm an expert as honestly, there are NO glider experts. I'm not saying I'm the most experienced either. But when those of us that DO have the experience are disregarded because of lack of "scientific proof" there is so much wasted knowledge. So many with the knowledge just have stopped posting and sharing what they know because of all those that have come along over the years telling them they don't know what they are talking about because they have no scientific proof.

Not everything in this world can be backed up by science. The assumption that light can or can not blind a glider could be IF there were scientific facilities and staff willing to do the studies on them. However, there is not.

You seem to want to challenge every post I make. SHOW ME your credentials regarding sugar gliders. Give me a reason to not discount your input as you seem so willing to do with me.

You know what, never mind...
There is no better teacher than Father Time himself. I hear you.
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#1136928 - 06/28/11 03:59 AM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Posted IN THIS THREAD is a video (posted by Bozeman) of various wild gliders OUT IN THE SUNLIGHT! There are multiple gliders, running about trees, gliding, eating, etc.

I suppose this will have to serve as "proof" that sunlight does not harm gliders.
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#1137197 - 06/28/11 03:37 PM Re: Light will blind a glider [Re: Dancing]
steph323 Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 05/31/11
Posts: 947
Loc: Seattle, Wa
the flash of a camera can temporarily confused them, but I've used a flash and mine still see perfectly. I imagine that if a camera flash doesnt blind them they are all good in normal light... I think its just one of those myths... like how light "blinds" a mole... but moles have been seen outside during light
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