Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Predator fish heat their eyes to track prey

11.01.2005


Large and powerful predators such as swordfishes, tunas, and many sharks are unique among fishes in that they possess physiological mechanisms that warm their eyes. A new investigation reported this week sheds important light on the purpose of warming the eyes and the advantage that "warm eyes" confer on ocean predators.




Swordfishes, which hunt in water as cold as 3°C (about 37°F), can maintain their brain and eye temperatures 10°C–15°C (18°F –27°F) above ambient temperatures by using a specially adapted heating organ in muscle next to their eyes. The biological significance of this has been a mystery. Now, however, innovative research has shown that warm eyes allow swordfishes to process visual information more than 10 times more quickly than eyes cooled to the temperatures of deep-water environments.

Ship-board experiments by Kerstin Fritsches of the University of Queensland, Richard Brill of the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Eric Warrant of the University of Lund focused on electroretinogram recordings of freshly caught swordfishes. These established that higher eye temperatures maintain the speed of the retina’s response to stimuli. Using temperatures and light intensities aligned with swordfishes’ dive profiles, the team showed that by heating their eyes, swordfishes retain the ability to spot quickly moving objects, allowing them to intercept rapid and elusive prey.


These findings offer a fascinating view into how an evolutionary "arms race" has led to a sensory specialization that gives a predator a significant edge over its prey.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com
http://www.current-biology.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>