European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Pierre Selim via wikimedia
Very sad. Bird eyes with cataracts:
(k) robin (Erithacus rubecula), significant haze on cornea
Photographs of selected eyes from Chernobyl birds.
From: Mousseau TA, Møller AP (2013) “Elevated Frequency of Cataracts in Birds from Chernobyl” http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0066939
Lucky for us some few are still doing serious academic research. If animals can’t see well, with some exceptions, they can’t find food and die, or can more easily be killed by predators. The frequency and severity of cataracts increases with background radiation. In the abstract below “reduced fitness” means they are unfit for survival! Overall, increasing radiation was related to fewer birds, suggesting “effects of radiation on other diseases, food abundance and interactions with other species. There was no increase in incidence of cataracts with increasing age…”. Cataracts in humans at Chernobyl and elsewhere are also discussed:
Mousseau TA, Møller AP (2013) “
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