first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Life gets weird in the sea. Whether it’s an angler fish, sea urchins, or the humble starfish, much of the life that dwells in the oceans is comparatively primitive. But that doesn’t mean they don’t hold surprises. Starfish, for example, can have up to fifty eyes… attached to its arms. And despite being aware of these creatures for thousands of years, this is something modern science has only just figured out.Apparently, while they were thought to primarily use smell to navigate their environment, sea stars can have upwards of 50 eyes, giving them the ability to see all around them, even in extremely dim conditions like those found on the ocean floor. This vision is crude, lacking the precision of human sight.“Even the best starfish vision is still rather crude — about 500 times less acute than human vision,” associate professor of neurobiology at the University of Copenhagen, Anders Garm, told Live Science. Moreover, these critters can’t see in full color like we can.That’s okay, though, because they don’t really need complex vision. Instead of the more advanced visual systems found in mammals or birds, starfish have tiny compound eyes that sit at the tip of each arm. These basic organs assemble a composite image together, forming a broad image with very low resolution. Even many deep-sea species (though not all) sport these compound eyes.“Some of them with just as good or better spatial resolution as shallow-water species living in plenty of light,” Garm said.It’s thought that these abyssal species use their eyes to watch for bioluminescent species, including bacteria, fish, or other sea stars. Many creatures from the depths use this artificial form of light to communicate in the inky depths and plenty more take advantage of the slow-mo light show at the bottom of the sea for feeding and reproduction.“In other words, they probably flashlight at each other to communicate things like reproductive state,” Garm added.Because these things are relatively simple — either food or mates are there, or they aren’t — starfish only need an image that’s about 200 pixels. That may not sound like much, but it’s a lot better for their particular environment. Down in the depths, the presence and distance of light-matter most. Plus, in the water what scant light does exist scatters, becoming diffuse. That scenario lends itself far more to compound eyes like the type these not-quite-fishies use. Regardless, next time you find one on the beach, watch for it to raise its arms. If it does, it’s probably trying to get the best look it can at you.center_img Researchers Uncover Most Powerful Electric Eel EverAngler Reels in Strange Fish With ‘Two Mouths’ in Upstate New York last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *