Mantis shrimps Have Complex Eyes that Have UV Colour Vision

Mantis shrimps Have Complex Eyes that Have UV Colour Vision

In an interesting discovery that has taken place recently, it has been found that while we as advanced species receive colour information via three colour receptors in our eyes, the mantis shrimp (Neogonodactylus oerstedii) have 12 such receptors.

This elucidated the fact that the complex eyes of mantis shrimp are equipped with optics that generates ultraviolet (UV) colour vision.

According to research reported in the Cell Press journal, six of such colour receptors can differentiate five discrete wavelengths of ultraviolet light. The mantis shrimps make use of specially tuned, UV-specific optical filters in their colour-detecting cells.

The optical filters of the mantis shrimps are found to be made of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAA) which are commonly called nature's sunscreens. These MAAs are usually used to protect an organism from UV rays that can damage DNA and is found in the skin or exoskeleton of marine organisms.

The mantis shrimp has incorporated these MAAs into powerful spectral tuning filters which make it possible to spot organisms that absorb UV light. Scientists have said that more research would be required to properly understand the complex visual perception of mantis shrimp and there is a possibility that UV detection could be used to visualize otherwise difficult to see prey on coral reefs.

Scientists have also found that the mantis shrimps view their underwater world in a whole new light, seeing ultraviolet colours far beyond and over the range of human vision.

The bulging eyes of these creatures contain built-in filters which are made from a biological sunscreen that is used by other marine animals to shield themselves against UV rays.

Why the mantis shrimp requires such a sophisticated visual system is still a mystery.

The creatures use their eyes to navigate and spot dangers of predators on the reefs where they live.


User login



You May Have Missed...

NASA likely to explore Uranus and/or Neptune
Wed, 08/26/2015 - 19:25

On the occasion of 26th anniversary of Voyager 2’s historic Neptune flyby, Jim Green, director of NASA Planetary Science Division has asked Jet...


Nigeria Update

Fresh Polio Cases lead to WHO Travel Restrictions on Pakistan and Syria
Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:45

World Health Organization has slapped international travel restrictions on Pakistan, Cameroon...


Economy Watch

US Import Prices decline in April
Thu, 05/14/2015 - 01:13

For a straight 10th month, US import prices declined in April. The decline could be due to the...


Health Tonight

NHS England criticises charity
Mon, 07/27/2015 - 14:02

England's unit of UK's health service, the NHS has criticised a leading charity for suggesting...


Science Tonight

Boat strike blamed for Young Killer Whale injury
Wed, 08/26/2015 - 12:44

Researchers have been closely keeping an eye on a young killer whale with an injury as they...


UK News

NHS England criticises charity
Mon, 07/27/2015 - 14:02

England's unit of UK's health service, the NHS has criticised a leading charity for suggesting...


Pharmaceuticals

Brazil tests new dengue vaccine successfully
Tue, 11/04/2014 - 13:46

A team of medical experts in Brazil has tested a new dengue vaccine, which was successful in...


US News

High-speed travel between galaxies theoretically possible
Wed, 08/19/2015 - 13:28

It is possible to see Star Trek-style 'warp speed' space travel in reality, said an...


Technology Tonight

Apple in quandary over live local programming for ‘New Apple TV’
Sat, 05/23/2015 - 08:33

The imminent launch of the latest Apple innovation - the 'New Apple TV' - will probably take...