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Vision Res. 2008 Mar;48(8):1061-73. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2008.01.019. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Unique structure and optics of the lesser eyes of the box jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora.

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Department of Cell and Organism Biology, Lund University, Zoology building, Helgonav├Ągen 3, 22362 Lund, Sweden.


The visual system of box jellyfish comprises a total of 24 eyes. These are of four types and each probably has a special function. To investigate this hypothesis the morphology and optics of the lesser eyes, the pit and slit eyes, were examined. The pit eyes hold one cell type only and are probably mere light meters. The slit eyes, comprising four cell types, are complex and highly asymmetric. They also hold a lens-like structure, but its optical power is minute. Optical modeling suggests spatial resolution, but only in one plane. These unique and intriguing traits support strong peripheral filtering.

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