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Nictitating membrane UPSC NOTE

 Nictitating membrane

  • The nictitating membrane is a transparent or translucent third eyelid present in some animals that can be drawn across the eye from the medial canthus

Functions in birds

  • In birds of prey, the membrane also serves to protect the parents’ eyes from their chicks while they are feeding them

  • When peregrine falcons go into their 320 km/h dives, they will blink repeatedly with their nictitating membranes to clear debris

  • Woodpeckers tighten their nictitating membrane a millisecond prior to their beak impacting the trunk of a tree to prevent retinal injury.


Its function in polar bear

  • The nictitating membrane protects the polar bears’ eyes from UV radiation as the white landscape reflects sunlight can damage the eye which can lead to temporary loss of vision — a condition known as snow blindness.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Nictitating membrane UPSC NOTE
Nictitating membrane UPSC NOTE
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