Are the photoreceptors of mammalian retinae adaptated to habitat and lifestyle?

Research report (imported) 2009 - Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

Peichl, Leo
Neuroanatomie (Prof. Dr. Heinz Wässle)
MPI für Hirnforschung, Frankfurt/Main
The properties of the retinal photoreceptors determine the information that the visual system receives for further processing. All mammals have rod photoreceptors for low-light and night vision, and cone photoreceptors for daylight and colour vision. However, this basic blueprint is rather flexible and shows species-specific adaptations to different visual needs, e. g. differences in colour vision, ultraviolet vision in some species, and colour blindness in others. The rod nuclei of nocturnal mammals act as light-collecting lenses for improved light transmission.

For the full text, see the German version.

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