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Peeper Show: Evolution's Eyes [Slide Show]

The animal kingdom contains all manner of visual organs
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CEPHALOPOD SEEING:

Octopuses and squids independently evolved a camera-style eye that superficially resembles the vertebrate eye, but the retina in these cephalopods lacks defects found in the vertebrate retina.....[ More ]

PROTO-PEEPERS:

The hagfish, which lives on the ocean floor, has rudimentary eyes buried under a patch of translucent skin that seem to function not as visual organs but as modulators of circadian rhythms. The proto-eyes of our ancient ancestors might have functioned the same way.....[ More ]

FELINE FOCUS:

Vertebrate animals, including cats (and humans), have eyes that act like cameras. The eye collects and focuses light, converting it into an electrical signal that the brain translates into images. But instead of photographic film, the camera-style eye has a highly specialized retina that detects light and processes the signals using dozens of different kinds of neurons.....[ More ]

FLY'S EYE:

Compound eyes are very effective for small animals, such as this fly, because they offer a wide-angle view and moderate spatial resolution in a small volume.....[ More ]

EYES OF OLD:

Trilobites and other ancient members of the arthropod group of invertebrates had compound eyes. In this type of eye an array of identical imaging units, each of which constitutes a lens, beams light to a handful of light-sensitive elements called photoreceptors.....[ More ]

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