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Your pet might see more than you realize

Wednesday - 2/19/2014, 9:51am  ET

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Cats are one mammal that might be able to see UV rays. (WTOP File)
  • Gallery: (176 images)

WASHINGTON -- If your dog or cat's behavior often leaves you baffled, new research might explain why it chases seemingly invisible things.

Humans and most other mammals can't see ultraviolet light, because the lenses on our eyes block it.

But researchers who tested the eyes of a whole bunch of mammals tell LiveScience that their findings suggest dogs, cats, hedgehogs and ferrets can see UV rays.

The study was led by biologist Ron Douglas at City University London.

How, or even whether, your pet might be using this ability is still unknown, and of course Fluffy and Fido aren't talking.

But scientists point out that bees can see hidden UV patterns in flowers that attract them to pollen, and ultraviolet vision probably helps Arctic reindeer better see food and predators in the snow.

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