Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Extreme mobility of mantis shrimp eyes

02.05.2018

New research, led by biologists from the University of Bristol, has uncovered fresh findings about the most mobile eyes in the animal kingdom - the eyes of the mantis shrimp.

Mantis shrimp vision is extraordinary, both in terms of their colour vision and their ability to see the polarisation of light.


The extraordinary eyes of the stomatopod Odontodactylus scyllarus are capable of independent rotation in all three rotational degrees of freedom, leading to complex gaze stabilization behavior.

Credit: Michael Bok

Not only this, but they have extremely mobile eyes that never seem to stop moving. While most animals keep eye movements to a minimum to avoid blur, mantis shrimp apparently go out of their way to move their eyes as much as possible.

Each eye is capable of independent rotation in all three degrees of rotational freedom; pitch (up-down), yaw (side-to-side) and roll (twisting about the eye-stalk).

The Bristol-led team of researchers based at the University's Ecology of Vision Laboratory, wanted to test the limits of this incredible mobility to discover at what point mantis shrimp have to steady their gaze. Their findings are published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Like other animals, mantis shrimp do make stabilising side-to-side movements that help keep their vision steady as they move through the world, but the team found that even while stabilising in the horizontal direction, they can't resist rolling their eyes.

This is completely counter-intuitive; the whole point in stabilising gaze is to keep the appearance of the world around them steady, but by rolling their eyes 'up' suddenly becomes 'sideways' and the world gets very complicated.

Amazingly, this has no effect on the mantis shrimp - no matter what position they've rolled their eyes to, or how quickly they're rolling, mantis shrimp can still reliably and accurately follow the motion of a pattern that is moving sideways.

Ilse Daly from Bristol's School of Biological Sciences and lead author of the study, said: "It would be like you tipping your head on its side, then back to normal and all angles in between all while trying to follow the motion of a target.

"Just to make things even more confusing, the left and right eyes can move completely independently of one another, such that one eye could be oriented horizontally, while the other could be twisted completely through 90 degrees to be on its side."

Following this unexpected discovery, the team tested to see how mantis shrimp would respond if the world started to roll around them.

In humans, such a stimulus would induce severe vertigo, as visitors to certain theme parks may have experienced with rides which challenge people to walk through a tunnel along a solid, fixed gangway while the walls of the tunnel rotate around them - which is nearly impossible to do without falling over.

Ilse Daly added: "We expected that, in response to the world around them apparently rolling, mantis shrimp should roll their eyes to follow their surroundings. They did not.

"The mantis shrimp visual system seems entirely immune from any negative effects of rolling their eyes. Indeed, it appears as though rolling has absolutely no effect on their perception of space at all: up is still up, even when their eyes have rolled completely sideways. This is unprecedented in the animal kingdom."

The next step is to confirm the existence of such a unique motion detection system and fully explore how it provides mantis shrimps with a clear view of the world regardless of how much or how quickly they're rolling their eyes.

However, a more fundamental question is why mantis shrimp need to roll their eyes in the first place, and this is what the team will seek to answer next.

Iles Daly | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species
03.07.2020 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Moss protein corrects genetic defects of other plants
03.07.2020 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

03.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus

03.07.2020 | Studies and Analyses

Efficient, Economical and Aesthetic: Researchers Build Electrodes from Leaves

03.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>