Scientists Closer To Explaining The Mantis Shrimp’s Extraordinary Vision

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Scientists have made a huge leap forward in their understanding of how the mantis shrimp’s extraordinary vision works.

Scientists have made a huge leap forward in their understanding of how the mantis shrimp’s extraordinary vision works.

The underwater creatures have proven to be biological wonders in a variety of ways.

They’re swift hunters with a powerful punching force, one that’s been measured to be the equivalent of a fired .22 caliber bullet.

But they also have gained quite a bit of scientific notoriety for their insanely complex eyes and superior vision abilities.

They can see all the colors that people can plus an ultraviolet range that’s beyond human capabilities. And yet, they have teeny tiny brains by comparison.

Researchers recently discovered that the shrimp’s superpower comes from its clever repurposing of sunscreen cells.

Known as mycosporine-like amino acids, or MAA’s, the cells are primarily intended to defend against cell-damaging UV rays.

Somehow, they’ve developed the ability to use the cells so they filter light in a way that affects specific receptors in the eye.

This allows them to see multiple wavelengths with only two pigments.

The next phase of the research is to figure out why this ability has evolved over time and what its possible use could be.

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