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Retinal specializations in the blue marlin: eyes designed for sensitivity to low light levels

Fritsches, KA; Marshall, NJ and Warrant, Eric LU (2003) In Marine and Freshwater Research 54(4). p.333-341
Abstract
The large eyes and well-developed visual system of billfishes suggest that vision is an important sense for the detection and interception of prey and lures. Investigations of visual abilities in these large pelagic fishes are difficult, however anatomical studies of billfish eyes and retinas allow prediction of a number of visual capabilities. From the density of ganglion cells in the blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) retina, visual acuities of less than 10 cycles per degree were derived, a surprisingly low visual resolution given the absolute size of the marlin eye. Cone photoreceptors, on the other hand, were present in high densities, resulting in a presumed summation of cones to ganglion cells at a ratio of 40:1, even in the area of... (More)
The large eyes and well-developed visual system of billfishes suggest that vision is an important sense for the detection and interception of prey and lures. Investigations of visual abilities in these large pelagic fishes are difficult, however anatomical studies of billfish eyes and retinas allow prediction of a number of visual capabilities. From the density of ganglion cells in the blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) retina, visual acuities of less than 10 cycles per degree were derived, a surprisingly low visual resolution given the absolute size of the marlin eye. Cone photoreceptors, on the other hand, were present in high densities, resulting in a presumed summation of cones to ganglion cells at a ratio of 40:1, even in the area of best vision. The optical sensitivity of the marlin eye was high owing to the large dimensions of the cone photoreceptors. These results indicate that the marlin eye is specifically adapted to cope with the low light levels encountered during diving. Since the marlin is likely to use its vision at depth, it is suggested that this line of research could help estimate the limits of vertical distribution based on light level. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
retinal anatomy, acuity, billfish, optical sensitivity
in
Marine and Freshwater Research
volume
54
issue
4
pages
333 - 341
publisher
CSIRO Publishing
external identifiers
  • wos:000184843100006
  • scopus:0141522979
ISSN
1448-6059
DOI
10.1071/MF02126
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
08a0bb44-41b7-48e5-a721-0016ccd454c4 (old id 303401)
date added to LUP
2007-09-03 09:23:49
date last changed
2018-10-07 03:32:19
@article{08a0bb44-41b7-48e5-a721-0016ccd454c4,
  abstract     = {The large eyes and well-developed visual system of billfishes suggest that vision is an important sense for the detection and interception of prey and lures. Investigations of visual abilities in these large pelagic fishes are difficult, however anatomical studies of billfish eyes and retinas allow prediction of a number of visual capabilities. From the density of ganglion cells in the blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) retina, visual acuities of less than 10 cycles per degree were derived, a surprisingly low visual resolution given the absolute size of the marlin eye. Cone photoreceptors, on the other hand, were present in high densities, resulting in a presumed summation of cones to ganglion cells at a ratio of 40:1, even in the area of best vision. The optical sensitivity of the marlin eye was high owing to the large dimensions of the cone photoreceptors. These results indicate that the marlin eye is specifically adapted to cope with the low light levels encountered during diving. Since the marlin is likely to use its vision at depth, it is suggested that this line of research could help estimate the limits of vertical distribution based on light level.},
  author       = {Fritsches, KA and Marshall, NJ and Warrant, Eric},
  issn         = {1448-6059},
  keyword      = {retinal anatomy,acuity,billfish,optical sensitivity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {333--341},
  publisher    = {CSIRO Publishing},
  series       = {Marine and Freshwater Research},
  title        = {Retinal specializations in the blue marlin: eyes designed for sensitivity to low light levels},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF02126},
  volume       = {54},
  year         = {2003},
}