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Nat Commun. 2016 Jul 12;7:12140. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12140.

Dynamic polarization vision in mantis shrimps.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK.
2
School of Animal Biology and the Oceans Institute, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway (M317), Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia.
3
Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, Maryland 21250, USA.

Abstract

Gaze stabilization is an almost ubiquitous animal behaviour, one that is required to see the world clearly and without blur. Stomatopods, however, only fix their eyes on scenes or objects of interest occasionally. Almost uniquely among animals they explore their visual environment with a series pitch, yaw and torsional (roll) rotations of their eyes, where each eye may also move largely independently of the other. In this work, we demonstrate that the torsional rotations are used to actively enhance their ability to see the polarization of light. Both Gonodactylus smithii and Odontodactylus scyllarus rotate their eyes to align particular photoreceptors relative to the angle of polarization of a linearly polarized visual stimulus, thereby maximizing the polarization contrast between an object of interest and its background. This is the first documented example of any animal displaying dynamic polarization vision, in which the polarization information is actively maximized through rotational eye movements.

PMID:
27401817
PMCID:
PMC4945877
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms12140
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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