Interesting papers: Light and vision in the deep-sea benthos

Vision in fishes and crustaceans is a fascinating and understudied area.  In past decades, there were far more studies on the visual systems of sea-dwelling creatures, but with the push towards applied or translational research, the number of reports in these species have dropped off, much to our detriment as one never knows where the applications of basic research will pay off.

At the same time, the whole study of bioluminescence and vision is an interesting examination of how organisms use bioluminescence for mating, warning or aposematismcrypsis or counter-illumination and predation.  It is explicitly a visual phenomenon and as such, has informed a variety of investigations into biomedical, commercial and military applications. Continue reading “Interesting papers: Light and vision in the deep-sea benthos”

Giant Squid Eyes

A recent paper by Dan-Eric Nilsson, Eric J. Warrant, Sönke Johnsen, Roger Hanlon and Nadav Shashar reports on the eyes of some of the most mysterious of creatures, Architeuthis and Mesonychoteuthis, the giant and colossal deep sea squid respectively. We here at Webvision love all things retina and would deeply love to get our hands on the retinas of these creatures to perform CMP and explore them through connectomics, to understand how the retinas are constructed, how they evolved and how different/similar they are to other organisms. For now, we have to satisfy ourselves with interesting papers from colleagues on descriptions of eyes from squid the authors have examined as well as their theories for how the squid use their eyes to track prey and predators by seeing the bioluminescence that follows objects as they transit benthic waters.

Continue reading “Giant Squid Eyes”