Many of us equate the variety of ways in which we see with John Berger’s classic book Ways of Seeing, also presented as a series on BBC. His book’s focus on cultural perspectives doesn’t touch on how differently humans and animals see. Berger later wrote an essay, “Why Look at Animals?” a part his 1980 anthology About Looking, which examines how we look at animals, but not how animals see.
A fascinating article in Atlantic brings to mind how limited our perspective is when we focus primarily on human seeing. The subject of how animals see is a fascinating field study, one that warrants more attention, as a recent article titled “This Animal Has a Suit of Armor With Hundreds of Built-In Eyes” reminds us. This article introduces a group of little-known sea creatures called chitons. They have evolved armor contains hundreds of eyes.
Chitons are mollusks, related to snails, clams, and octopuses. Their oval bodies are covered by a hard shell consisting of eight overlapping plates, which makes them look a bit like a woodlouse with a skirt, or perhaps like the forehead of a Klingon. In many species, these plates are dotted with hundreds of tiny beads, each less than a tenth of a millimeter across. These are eyes. Each contains a lens, a light-sensitive retina, and a layer of black pigment.
For links to a variety of examples on how animals see, visit Christopher Tyler’s Eye Page. He also includes links to a number of other sites. The image accompanying this post is from Tyler’s site. It is the eye of a female net-casting spider from Australia. The large lens concentrates light on the retina.
Study uses arrays of multicoloured disks to demonstrate colour perception in peripheral vision
Some common science-related misconceptions are particularly persistent, such as a duck’s quack doesn’t echo, or that we only use 10% of our brains.
Now new research from City University London is aiming to dispel a long-held misbelief relating to colour vision: that it is weak or non-existent in our periphery vision.
“This misconception about weak peripheral colour vision is completely incorrect,” said Professor Christopher Tyler, a visual neuroscientist at the university’s School of Optometry and Vision Science, who carried out the study.
“Although the number of cone photoreceptors is lower in the periphery than in the fovea, with about 4000 cones per mm2 throughout the peripheral retina compared to 200,000 in the central fovea, this is still plenty enough to give colour vision,” said Professor Tyler.
Continue reading article in OT (Optometry Today), 11 Nov 2015 : https://www.aop.org.uk/ot/science-and-vision/research/2015/11/11/research-debunks-misconceptions-around-peripheral-colour-vision
Read the full study in i-Perception: http://ipe.sagepub.com/content/6/6/2041669515613671.full.pdf
Parallel Alices: Alice through the Looking-Glass of Eleanor of Aquitaine
by Christopher Tyler
Cloth (with dust jacket): 170 pages. Over 100 colour illustrations. Glossary, timelines, annotated bibliography, index. ISBN: 10: 0972533044; 13: 978-0-9725330-4-1
Paperback (colour): 144 pages. Over 100 colour illustrations. Bibliography, index. ISBN: 10: 0972533087; 13: 978-0-9725330-8-9
Paperback (monochrome): 170 pages. Over 100 monochrome illustrations. Glossary, timelines, annotated bibliography, index. ISBN: 10: 0972533095; 13: 978-0-9725330-9-6
Prices: Cloth: US$54.00; Paperback: US$24 (colour): US$12 (monochrome)
Continue reading “Now Available: Parallel Alices by Christopher Tyler”
Scientists recently stumbled upon a whale skeleton on the ocean floor near Antarctica. This is one of only six natural whale skeletons found worldwide and, quite remarkably, they also found nine never-before-seen species of deep-sea organisms feeding on the bones and skull.
The whale is believed to be a Minke whale. The deep-sea organisms included a type of bone-eating Osedax worm. Researchers say this discovery, which was made almost a mile below the surface in an underwater crater, will provide new insights into life in the sea depths.
An article about the discovery is available from Science Direct.
Continue reading “Whale and Nine New Species provide insight into ocean’s depth”
STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The STEAM Journal is a transdisciplinary, international, theory-practice, peer-reviewed, academic, open access, online journal with a focus on the intersection of the sciences and the arts. The STEAM Journal integrates perspectives from a variety of contexts and fields. The STEAM Journal inaugural issue ‘Luminare’ Vol. 1, Iss.1 3/13/13. The STEAM website here
Nature Exposed to Our Method of Questioning
by Amy Ione
Buy it Now
Nature Exposed to our Method of Questioning explores how we create our cultural assumptions about nature, culture and ourselves.
Continue reading “IONE, A: Nature Exposed to our Method of Questioning”