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Advanced optics in a jellyfish eye

Nilsson, Dan-E LU ; Gislén, Lars LU ; Coates, Melissa LU ; Skogh, C and Garm, Anders LU (2005) In Nature 435(7039). p.201-205
Abstract
Cubozoans, or box jellyfish, differ from all other cnidarians by an active fish-like behaviour and an elaborate sensory apparatus(1,2). Each of the four sides of the animal carries a conspicuous sensory club ( the rhopalium), which has evolved into a bizarre cluster of different eyes(3). Two of the eyes on each rhopalium have long been known to resemble eyes of higher animals, but the function and performance of these eyes have remained unknown(4). Here we show that box-jellyfish lenses contain a finely tuned refractive index gradient producing nearly aberration-free imaging. This demonstrates that even simple animals have been able to evolve the sophisticated visual optics previously known only from a few advanced bilaterian phyla.... (More)
Cubozoans, or box jellyfish, differ from all other cnidarians by an active fish-like behaviour and an elaborate sensory apparatus(1,2). Each of the four sides of the animal carries a conspicuous sensory club ( the rhopalium), which has evolved into a bizarre cluster of different eyes(3). Two of the eyes on each rhopalium have long been known to resemble eyes of higher animals, but the function and performance of these eyes have remained unknown(4). Here we show that box-jellyfish lenses contain a finely tuned refractive index gradient producing nearly aberration-free imaging. This demonstrates that even simple animals have been able to evolve the sophisticated visual optics previously known only from a few advanced bilaterian phyla. However, the position of the retina does not coincide with the sharp image, leading to very wide and complex receptive fields in individual photoreceptors. We argue that this may be useful in eyes serving a single visual task. The findings indicate that tailoring of complex receptive fields might have been one of the original driving forces in the evolution of animal lenses. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature
volume
435
issue
7039
pages
201 - 205
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • pmid:15889091
  • wos:000229021100039
  • scopus:18744400259
ISSN
0028-0836
DOI
10.1038/nature03484
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f2f3ded7-c835-47b8-a86f-e694c1079fef (old id 243201)
date added to LUP
2007-08-03 15:39:52
date last changed
2017-09-10 03:39:54
@article{f2f3ded7-c835-47b8-a86f-e694c1079fef,
  abstract     = {Cubozoans, or box jellyfish, differ from all other cnidarians by an active fish-like behaviour and an elaborate sensory apparatus(1,2). Each of the four sides of the animal carries a conspicuous sensory club ( the rhopalium), which has evolved into a bizarre cluster of different eyes(3). Two of the eyes on each rhopalium have long been known to resemble eyes of higher animals, but the function and performance of these eyes have remained unknown(4). Here we show that box-jellyfish lenses contain a finely tuned refractive index gradient producing nearly aberration-free imaging. This demonstrates that even simple animals have been able to evolve the sophisticated visual optics previously known only from a few advanced bilaterian phyla. However, the position of the retina does not coincide with the sharp image, leading to very wide and complex receptive fields in individual photoreceptors. We argue that this may be useful in eyes serving a single visual task. The findings indicate that tailoring of complex receptive fields might have been one of the original driving forces in the evolution of animal lenses.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Dan-E and Gislén, Lars and Coates, Melissa and Skogh, C and Garm, Anders},
  issn         = {0028-0836},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7039},
  pages        = {201--205},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature},
  title        = {Advanced optics in a jellyfish eye},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature03484},
  volume       = {435},
  year         = {2005},
}