Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mantis Shrimp

Biological Evolution
Environmental & Science Education
by Edward Hessler

By now the evidence is pretty clear.

I'm a fan of the short films on science from KQED Science and PBS Digital Studies. And I won't resist sharing them even if asked to desist!

Today's treat is on vision in mantis shrimp. So what's the big deal? Biological diversity. Putative adaptations. Life on this planet and what some of it does.

Mantis Shrimp [Wikimedia Commons]
Three "pupils" to our one. Receptors for twelve colors (a world's record) to our three and the ability to detect light polarisation. Humans can barely detect it. The film "How the Mantis Shrimp's Six-Pupiled eyes put 20/20 Vision to Shame" is, as is usual, beautifully photographed.  It is 4 minutes long.

Polarisation (polarization in the U. S.) is defined on that wonderful encyclopedia of science, the Wiki. There is also a Wiki entry which deals with the physics and maths of the phenomenon as waves. The Physics Classroom has a tutorial on polarization.

h/t Aeon

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