• 1987 (Vol.1)

Structural and functional basis of ambivalent (aerial-aquatic) vision in aquatic mammals

© 2015 A. M. Mass

A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, RAS 119071 Moscow, 33 Leninsky Prospect

Received 01 Jun 2015

In aquatic mammals, the eye anatomy demonstrates a number of features of adaptation to both aquatic and aerial vision. The eye optics provides underwater emmetropia, and there are a few of mechanisms preventing aerial myopia and allowing to function in conditions of wide variations of luminosity. The eye retina contains mainly rod photoreceptors and a minor number of cones; however, a residual color vision may take place. A characteristic feature of the cetacean retina is large sizes of ganglion cells separated by wide intercellular spaces. Studies of topographic distribution of ganglion cells in the retina of cetaceans revealed two areas of ganglion-cell concentration (the best-vision areas) located in the temporal and nasal quadrants; pinnipeds and other marine mammals have only one such area.

Key words: vision, eye optics, retina, aquatic mammals

Cite: Mass A. M. Strukturnye i funktsionalnye osnovy ambivalentnogo (vodno-vozdushnogo) zreniya u vodnykh mlekopitayushchikh [Structural and functional basis of ambivalent (aerial-aquatic) vision in aquatic mammals]. Sensornye sistemy [Sensory systems]. 2015. V. 29(4). P. 321-340 (in Russian).

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