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Electroretinographic responses of the great horned owl bubo virginianus


, : Electroretinographic responses of the great horned owl bubo virginianus. Journal of Raptor Research 21(4): 147-152

Electroretinograms were recorded from four Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus). Two procedures, dark adaptation and flicker stimuli, were used to assess the contributions of rode and cone systems to electroretinograms. Recordings obtained after dark adaptation demonstrated scotopic (rod-generated) components. B-waves were broad and rounded and had a fairly long latency. When high intensity single-flash stimuli were used, b-waves had shorter latencies, and prominent a-waves were present, indicative of the addition of photopic (cone-generated) activity. Photopic activity was more clearly demonstrated with flicker ERGs. Scotopic fusion frequency was approximately 16 Hz. Photopic fusion frequencies were in the range of 35-45 Hz. The Great Horned Owl retina functions optimally during low luminance levels at night. However, the presence of a functional photopic system allows this owl to also function in brighter luminances of day.

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