" We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." - Dissent from Darwin

Natural selection [is used] carelessly as a mantra, as in the evidence-free “just-so stories” concocted out of thin air by mentally lazy adaptationists. (Stephen Jay Gould)

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence. (Isaac newton)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

How SHRIMP saw the light

Dr Sonja Kleinlogel and Professor Andrew White have shown that mantis shrimp not only have the ability to see colours from the ultraviolet through to the infrared, but have optimal polarisation vision -- a first for any animal and a capability that humanity has only achieved in the last decade using fast computer technology.

"It is this unique talent which presents a completely new concept of polarisation vision," Dr Kleinlogel continues. "There wouldn't be much point in only being able to see circular polarisation as it is extremely rare in nature.

"We doubt that circular polarisation is used exclusively as a secret shrimp sex signal! It makes more sense that mantis shrimp evolved both circular and linear polarisation receptors to work together so they can detect tiniest changes in any polarisation."

Prof. White notes, "Some of the animals they like to eat are transparent, and quite hard to see in sea-water - except they're packed full of polarising sugars - I suspect they light up like Christmas trees as far as these shrimp are concerned." "And of course," Dr Kleinlogel concludes, "they can still flirt with each other using fancy polarisation cues!"

Storytellers: Dr Kleinlogel, is based at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt

Weird Shrimp has astounding vision

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