Advanced

Eye Size, Fovea, and Foraging Ecology in Accipitriform Raptors

Potier, Simon LU ; Mitkus, Mindaugas LU ; Bonadonna, Francesco; Duriez, Olivier; Isard, Pierre François; Dulaurent, Thomas; Mentek, Marielle and Kelber, Almut LU (2017) In Brain, Behavior and Evolution 90(3). p.232-242
Abstract

Birds with larger eyes are predicted to have higher spatial resolution because of their larger retinal image. Raptors are well known for their acute vision, mediated by their deep central fovea. Because foraging strategies may demand specific visual adaptations, eye size and fovea may differ between species with different foraging ecology. We tested whether predators (actively hunting mobile prey) and carrion eaters (eating dead prey) from the order Accipitriformes differ in eye size, foveal depth, and retinal thickness using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and comparative phylogenetic methods. We found that (1) all studied predators (except one) had a central and a temporal fovea, but all carrion eaters had only the... (More)

Birds with larger eyes are predicted to have higher spatial resolution because of their larger retinal image. Raptors are well known for their acute vision, mediated by their deep central fovea. Because foraging strategies may demand specific visual adaptations, eye size and fovea may differ between species with different foraging ecology. We tested whether predators (actively hunting mobile prey) and carrion eaters (eating dead prey) from the order Accipitriformes differ in eye size, foveal depth, and retinal thickness using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and comparative phylogenetic methods. We found that (1) all studied predators (except one) had a central and a temporal fovea, but all carrion eaters had only the central fovea; (2) eye size scaled with body mass both in predators and carrion eaters; (3) predators had larger eyes relative to body mass and a thicker retina at the edge of the fovea than carrion eaters, but there was no difference in the depth of the central fovea between the groups. Finally, we found that (4) larger eyes generally had a deeper central fovea. These results suggest that the visual system of raptors within the order Accipitriformes may be highly adapted to the foraging strategy, except for the foveal depth, which seems mostly dependent upon the eye size.

(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
Bird visual ecology, Carrion eaters, Eye size, Foraging, Fovea, Predators
in
Brain, Behavior and Evolution
volume
90
issue
3
pages
232 - 242
publisher
Karger
external identifiers
  • scopus:85031402399
  • wos:000415747800004
ISSN
0006-8977
DOI
10.1159/000479783
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
96a9a087-6c9d-4e70-9a3d-bb7d321d512c
date added to LUP
2017-10-26 13:46:08
date last changed
2018-02-19 01:40:40
@article{96a9a087-6c9d-4e70-9a3d-bb7d321d512c,
  abstract     = {<p>Birds with larger eyes are predicted to have higher spatial resolution because of their larger retinal image. Raptors are well known for their acute vision, mediated by their deep central fovea. Because foraging strategies may demand specific visual adaptations, eye size and fovea may differ between species with different foraging ecology. We tested whether predators (actively hunting mobile prey) and carrion eaters (eating dead prey) from the order Accipitriformes differ in eye size, foveal depth, and retinal thickness using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and comparative phylogenetic methods. We found that (1) all studied predators (except one) had a central and a temporal fovea, but all carrion eaters had only the central fovea; (2) eye size scaled with body mass both in predators and carrion eaters; (3) predators had larger eyes relative to body mass and a thicker retina at the edge of the fovea than carrion eaters, but there was no difference in the depth of the central fovea between the groups. Finally, we found that (4) larger eyes generally had a deeper central fovea. These results suggest that the visual system of raptors within the order Accipitriformes may be highly adapted to the foraging strategy, except for the foveal depth, which seems mostly dependent upon the eye size.</p>},
  author       = {Potier, Simon and Mitkus, Mindaugas and Bonadonna, Francesco and Duriez, Olivier and Isard, Pierre François and Dulaurent, Thomas and Mentek, Marielle and Kelber, Almut},
  issn         = {0006-8977},
  keyword      = {Bird visual ecology,Carrion eaters,Eye size,Foraging,Fovea,Predators},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {232--242},
  publisher    = {Karger},
  series       = {Brain, Behavior and Evolution},
  title        = {Eye Size, Fovea, and Foraging Ecology in Accipitriform Raptors},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000479783},
  volume       = {90},
  year         = {2017},
}