Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No Sunglasses Required For Fish Supper

Date:
October 22, 2007
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Fishermen are always looking for a tasty catch - but it is the fish that have a natural advantage when it comes to spotting dinner, according to new research. Individual light sensitive cells within the retina of goldfish are able to detect polarized light.

Researchers have discovered how individual light sensitive cells within the retina of goldfish are able to detect polarized light.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Manchester

Fishermen are always looking for a tasty catch - but it is the fish that have a natural advantage when it comes to spotting dinner, according to new research from The University of Manchester.

Related Articles


In a paper published on 17 October 2007 in the Biophysical Journal, Dr Nicholas Roberts from The University's Photon Science Institute and the School of Physics and Astronomy reports how individual light sensitive cells within the retina of goldfish are able to detect polarised light.

It's believed this type of polarisation vision improves visual contrast and can help an animal catch its prey more easily.

Researchers say this latest research is important because it is the first direct experimental evidence of a polarisation detection mechanism in any normal vertebrate eye.

They believe that discovering how single cells work as polarisation detectors may lead to new developments in man-made microscopic detection or information display technologies.

Dr Roberts says: "Vision is the primary sense of many animals and the way they see their world is of fundamental importance to understanding aspects of their behaviour.

"Numerous animals have amazing visual abilities, which allow them to see the world in very different ways. One such ability is polarisation vision.

"Just as fishermen wear Polaroid sunglasses to help improve contrast, many different animals- including fish- have evolved to do the very same thing without the need of sunglasses. It is a surprisingly common ability throughout the animal kingdom."

For the study Dr Roberts used 'laser tweezers' to manipulate the cells in three dimensions. This meant that for the first time, the absorption of single photoreceptors could be studied in the same orientation they are in the retina.

The research team stress they have so far only investigated one of the three colour channels known to play a role in polarisation vision.

Dr Roberts adds: "This is just the first step in understanding the full mechanism that allows vertebrates to see polarised light, but we see these initial results as extremely encouraging.

"We are now examining in much greater detail the underlying biochemical properties that make only some photoreceptor cells polarisation detectors.

"The real challenge is building an integrated picture of vertebrate vision. We are aiming to discover how both the biochemical and biophysical aspects of visual cell function link to the way polarisation information is first analysed, processed and then relayed to the brain."

Reference: 'A Mechanism of Polarized Light Sensitivity in Cone Photoreceptors of the Goldfish Carassius auratu' is published in the November 2007 edition of the Biophysics Journal (Volume 93).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "No Sunglasses Required For Fish Supper." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017092402.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2007, October 22). No Sunglasses Required For Fish Supper. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017092402.htm
University of Manchester. "No Sunglasses Required For Fish Supper." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017092402.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins