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The rainbows colors of fruit are actually a secret message designed to attract animals, researchers say.
Since the late 1800's researchers have speculated that the colors of fleshy fruits evolved to get the attention of certain animals, who carry them off and eventually drop their seeds on the forest floor.
Study - Color - Fruits - Animals
A new study found the color of fruits has evolved to attract the animals that eat them.
For instance, fruit eaten by mnkeys and apes tends to be green, while those eaten by birds if often red.
Scientists - Evidence - Plants - Rainbow - Fruit
Scientists say they have now new evidence that plants owe their rainbow of fruit colors to the different animals that eat them.
The way different animals see is very different.
Humans - Instance - Types - Color-sensing - Cone
Humans, for instance, have three types of color-sensing cone cells in the eyes, each one sensitive to different wavelengths of light.
But most other mammals have only two types of cone cells.
Birds - Range - Colors
And birds have four, which helps them see a range of colors we can't see.
A fruit that looks blackish to us, for example, may actually reflect ultraviolet rays, which birds can see but humans can't.
Exception - Handful - Primates - Animal - Earth
'With the exception of a handful of other primates, no other animal on Earth sees color the way that we do,' said study co-author Kim Valenta, assistant research professor...
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