Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cuttlefish eyes

Cuttlefish are related to squids and octopuses and they are really neat creature. But studying eyes has made me really appreciate how cool their eyes are.

From Wikipedia
Here are some amazing things about cuttlefish eyes:

  • They can't see any color, but they have two focus-point areas (fovea) on their retina: one to look forward and one to look behind.
  • The "w" shape of their pupil allowed them to see the polarization of light, which enables them to see with greater contrast. 
  • They focus their eyes by reshaping the entire eye, not just the lens.
  • They have no blind spot because their optic nerve is behind the retina
  • Scientists have speculated that their eyes are fully developed while they're still in their eggs, and they prefer to eat things they have seen swim by whilst in their eggs.
I have no idea what it would look like to be able to focus on two objects at once, or be able to perceive the polarity of light--all I know is that it would be AWESOME.


Kathy Haynie said...

How do the scientists know these things? Did they ask the cuttlefish? I always wonder about that.

Bryan Lewis said...

I think a lot of this things can be determined by looking at the actual anatomical structure of the eye. They probably took a slice of the retina of a cuttlefish and saw they had only rods (no cones = no color vision), or they saw muscles surrounding the entire eye and no muscles associated with the lens (meaning the entire eye moves to focus an image instead of just reshaping the lens).

But I don't really know how they found out. All I know is that the structure of an organ is directly related to the function of the organ.

Lisa Lou said...

I guess it's kind of like any other studies with animals or kids, even. By studying the reaction or lack of reaction, scientists are able to determine motive or ability.

Katie said...

I kind of can't comprehend any of that, but it sounds pretty impressive.