Collecting tears from roadside hawk, Rupornis magnirostris. Credit: Arianne P. Oriá Bird and reptile tears aren’t so unlike our own, shows a new study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science . But the differences could provide insights into better ophthalmic treatments for humans and animals, as well as a clues into the evolution of tears across different species.
“Discovering how tears are able to maintain the ocular homeostasis, even in different species and environmental conditions , is crucial for understanding the evolution and adaptation processes, and is essential for the discovery of new molecules for ophthalmic drugs,” says first author Prof. Arianne P. Oriá, of the Federal University of Bahia, in Salvador, Brazil.
Tears play a critical role in maintaining healthy eyesight across species. But up to now, researchers have only studied tears in a short list of mammals, including humans, dogs, horses, monkeys and camels. To get a more complete picture of how tears work in other species, Oriá and her collaborators have now added seven species of birds and reptiles to this list.
“Although birds and reptiles have different structures that are responsible for tear production, some components of this fluid (electrolytes) are present at similar concentrations as what is found […]
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