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How Animals See the WorldComparative Behavior, Biology, and Evolution of Vision$
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Olga F. Lazareva, Toru Shimizu, and Edward A. Wasserman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195334654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195334654.001.0001

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Evolution of the Vertebrate Eye

Evolution of the Vertebrate Eye

(p.441) 23 Evolution of the Vertebrate Eye
How Animals See the World

James K. Bowmaker

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the evolution of vertebrate “camera” eyes and concentrates on color vision and visual pigments. The vertebrate camera eye with a lens, a variable pupil aperture, and a photosensitive receptor layer in the retina, evolved in primitive jawless fish under relatively bright light in shallow seas. With the broad spectral range of daylight, four spectral classes of cone photoreceptor rapidly evolved, offering the benefit of tetrachromatic color vision in order to take full advantage of the visual information available in the environment. This highly successful design has been greatly modified as vertebrates evolved into all the major classes, extending their environmental range into the oceans, the deep sea, freshwater, terrestrial habitats, and the air.

Keywords:   camera eyes, color vision, visual pigments, evolution, lens, variable pupil aperture

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