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Elephantnoses Can See

by TFH Magazine on July 2, 2012 at 6:00 am

LEIPZIG, Germany, June 29, 2012 — The elephantnose fish, thought to be blind, was found to have light-reflecting cups lined with photonic crystals in its retinas that help it navigate its dark, murky environment. This unusual eye structure might inform future sensors that filter signal noise or turbid fluids.

These freshwater fish, found in the cloudy depths of African rivers, use electrosensing to navigate their dark environment, but they also depend somewhat on vision. Until recently, these weakly electric fish were thought to be blind, or almost blind, University of Leipzig neurophysiologist Andreas Reichenbach said in a podcast this week.


Photograph by Gerhard von der Emde

Posted in Aquatic News by TFH Magazine on July 2nd, 2012 at 6:00 am.

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