Saturday, 8 March 2014

zur farbenlehre oder roy g. biv

Marine biologists studying a specific species of mantis shrimp (Fangschreckenkrebse) that inhabits coral reefs—an explosion of colour, shade and shadow, have found that these crustaceans have some of the most advanced eyes compound eyes in the animal kingdom. These shrimp have sixteen distinct photo-receptive cells, ommatidium whereas human eyes only have four to filter for red, green and blue and contrast, to differentiate, to tune for three times more colours and perceive polarised light and across different spectra.

It's difficult to truly understand what this exponentially higher range of visual acuity means and hard to make parallels, it's not as simple, I think, as looking at a thermal image of something, donning night-vision goggles or being Geordi La Forge or Superman. It's been long known that bees and butterflies and other inspects have advanced visual systems that humans cannot imagine, except as a bewildering kaleidoscope, but researchers now theorise that the ability to perceive so many more aspects of the their environment, including time and tide and what's washed in with them, through their eyes, what humans know as reason and reflection, higher-level mental processes, are by the crabs and their kin just seen, intuited, with in their field of vision and require no further thinking.