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A different form of color vision in Mantis Shrimp
Thoen, H.H.; How, M.J.; Chiou, T.-H.; Marshall, J. (2014). A different form of color vision in Mantis Shrimp. Science (Wash.) 343(6169): 411-413.
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Thoen, H.H.
  • How, M.J.
  • Chiou, T.-H.
  • Marshall, J.

    One of the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom can be found in species of stomatopod crustaceans (mantis shrimp), some of which have 12 different photoreceptor types, each sampling a narrow set of wavelengths ranging from deep ultraviolet to far red (300 to 720 nanometers) (1–3). Functionally, this chromatic complexity has presented a mystery (3–5). Why use 12 color channels when three or four are sufficient for fine color discrimination? Behavioral wavelength discrimination tests (?? functions) in stomatopods revealed a surprisingly poor performance, ruling out color vision that makes use of the conventional color-opponent coding system (6–8). Instead, our experiments suggest that stomatopods use a previously unknown color vision system based on temporal signaling combined with scanning eye movements, enabling a type of color recognition rather than discrimination.

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