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The energetic cost of vision and the evolution of eyeless Mexican cavefish.

Moran, Damian LU ; Softley, Rowan LU and Warrant, Eric LU (2015) In Science advances 1(8).
Abstract
One hypothesis for the reduction of vision in cave animals, such as the eyeless Mexican cavefish, is the high energetic cost of neural tissue and low food availability in subterranean habitats. However, data on relative brain and eye mass in this species or on any measure of the energetic cost of neural tissue are not available, making it difficult to evaluate the "expensive tissue hypothesis." We show that the eyes and optic tectum represent significant metabolic costs in the eyed phenotype. The cost of vision was calculated to be 15% of resting metabolism for a 1-g fish, decreasing to 5% in an 8.5-g fish as relative eye and brain size declined during growth. Our results demonstrate that the loss of the visual system in the cave phenotype... (More)
One hypothesis for the reduction of vision in cave animals, such as the eyeless Mexican cavefish, is the high energetic cost of neural tissue and low food availability in subterranean habitats. However, data on relative brain and eye mass in this species or on any measure of the energetic cost of neural tissue are not available, making it difficult to evaluate the "expensive tissue hypothesis." We show that the eyes and optic tectum represent significant metabolic costs in the eyed phenotype. The cost of vision was calculated to be 15% of resting metabolism for a 1-g fish, decreasing to 5% in an 8.5-g fish as relative eye and brain size declined during growth. Our results demonstrate that the loss of the visual system in the cave phenotype substantially lowered the amount of energy expended on expensive neural tissue during diversification into subterranean rivers, in particular for juvenile fish. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Science advances
volume
1
issue
8
publisher
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
external identifiers
  • pmid:26601263
ISSN
2375-2548
DOI
10.1126/sciadv.1500363
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d03fb168-1c13-42c4-b356-573929662200 (old id 8234667)
date added to LUP
2015-12-08 13:23:39
date last changed
2016-09-20 04:12:16
@article{d03fb168-1c13-42c4-b356-573929662200,
  abstract     = {One hypothesis for the reduction of vision in cave animals, such as the eyeless Mexican cavefish, is the high energetic cost of neural tissue and low food availability in subterranean habitats. However, data on relative brain and eye mass in this species or on any measure of the energetic cost of neural tissue are not available, making it difficult to evaluate the "expensive tissue hypothesis." We show that the eyes and optic tectum represent significant metabolic costs in the eyed phenotype. The cost of vision was calculated to be 15% of resting metabolism for a 1-g fish, decreasing to 5% in an 8.5-g fish as relative eye and brain size declined during growth. Our results demonstrate that the loss of the visual system in the cave phenotype substantially lowered the amount of energy expended on expensive neural tissue during diversification into subterranean rivers, in particular for juvenile fish.},
  articleno    = {e1500363},
  author       = {Moran, Damian and Softley, Rowan and Warrant, Eric},
  issn         = {2375-2548},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  publisher    = {American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)},
  series       = {Science advances},
  title        = {The energetic cost of vision and the evolution of eyeless Mexican cavefish.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1500363},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2015},
}