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Old 07-12-2004, 12:07 PM   #1
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Fish Fact...think it's true?

I read a factoid this morning that states:

"What is the only animal that can see both infared and ultraviolet lights? Goldfish"

Is this accurate do you think? Why are goldfish and not other fish able to see both spectrums? It just strikes me as "fishy" (pun fully intended).
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Old 07-12-2004, 11:40 PM   #2
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No takers, or no one cares?
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Old 07-12-2004, 11:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmw80
No takers, or no one cares?
I care!!! I"m just not smart enough to know if it's true or not :P
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:09 AM   #4
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I want to say ive heard that before but i couldn't tell you if it was true. You should askjeeves.com or google it
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:13 AM   #5
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Well I do know( at least as much as you can know secondhand) that they do have a few morecones in their eyes than humans do, perhaps that is the key.
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Old 07-13-2004, 02:09 PM   #6
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I'm surprised goldfish could see in the UV spectrum- I don't think the small wavelength can penetrate very far through water.

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Old 07-13-2004, 03:18 PM   #7
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I really, really doubt it. My guess is that somebody has tested goldfish (ubiquitous) and that they have been able to see in both spectra, but that they haven't tested other fish...

Or that the "goldfish" is just a general thing, and that they meant "fish." Of course, not all fish can see in both infrared and UV light!
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Old 07-13-2004, 03:33 PM   #8
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Maybe they made it up, lol.
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Old 07-13-2004, 03:55 PM   #9
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This first article must be the one that spawned this factoid...

HOWEVER!! I think the article I've quoted after it shows that only recently have researchers started to work on visual acuity, and that much of the work has been restricted to UV wavelengths. Of the 211 reef fish tested, 105 could see in the UV wavelength. You've got to guess that at least a few of these can also see in the infrared wavelengths.

So, the long and short of it is that the factoid may be right in saying that goldfish can see in the infrared and UV wavelengths of light, but was certainly wrong to assume they are the *only* animals that can. They may be the only animals tested so far that can, but that says nothing, considering there are well over 20,000 species of fish in the world and hundreds of thousands of other types of animals!!

****************

First Article

Wavelength dependence of visual acuity in goldfish
C. Neumeyer1

(1) Institut für Zoologie III (Neurobiologie), Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz, Germany

Received: 2 June 2003 Revised: 22 August 2003 Accepted: 22 August 2003 Published online: 23 September 2003

Abstract Visual acuity was measured in a two-choice training experiment with food reward. Four goldfish were trained to select a homogeneously illuminated testfield when a high-contrast grating (transparancy) was shown for comparison at the second testfield. Measurements were performed for white and monochromatic testfield illuminations in the light adapted state. Fourteen wavelengths between 404 nm and 683 nm were tested. For each wavelength (and white light) the testfield intensity was determined for which spatial resolution was highest. Between 446 nm and 683 nm maximal values of 2.0 cycles/deg (corresponding to a visual acuity of 15' of arc) were found. At 404 nm and in the ultraviolet resolution was lower (0.6 and ~0.25–0.35 cycles/deg, respectively). Cone and small ganglion cell densities may equally account for visual acuity. The action spectrum of maximal visual acuity is very similar to the spectral sensitivity function representing recognition of "colour". Measurements under reduced room illumination and after treatment with Ethambutol further indicate that the detection of high contrast gratings is processed by the same "channel" as colour vision. A similar separate and parallel processing of "colour" and "form" on the one hand, and "brightness" and "motion" on the other hand was found in humans.

****************

The Second Article

From: Siebeck and Marshall (2001): "Ocular media transmission of coral reef fish — can coral reef fish see ultraviolet light?"

"UV sensitivity has also been shown for a variety of fish species. It was demonstrated with behavioural experiments in the goldfish (Neumeyer and Hawryshyn), the rainbow trout ( Hawryshyn and Browman), and the roach ( Douglas, 1986). Measurements of the cone photopigments revealed the existence of UV sensitive photoreceptors in the dace, the carp and a series of other freshwater fishes ( Avery; Harosi and Hawryshyn)."
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Old 07-13-2004, 04:06 PM   #10
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This article *seems* to suggest that Rainbow Trout are able to see, for the most part, in long, medium and short wavelength light. What that means *exactly*, however, isn't explained: this is just an abstract...

****************

Author/Editor/Inventor
Coughlin, David J. [Reprint author]; Hawryshyn, Craig W. [Author].

Institution
Dep. Biol., Univ. Pa., Leidy Lab., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6018, USA.

Title
The contribution of ultraviolet and short-wavelength sensitive cone mechanisms to color vision in rainbow trout

Source
Brain, Behavior & Evolution. 43(4-5). 1994. 219-232.

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Abstract
Color vision in rainbow trout was studied by characterizing the spectral sensitivity of single units in three areas of visual processing: optic nerve; optic tectum; and torus semicircularis. Sensitivity to medium wavelength stimuli was a common feature of all single units examined. Additionally, long wavelength sensitivity was found in all units that were not medium wavelength-only or monophasic. Ultraviolet and short-wavelength sensitivity was common in small, juvenile trout, with ultraviolet sensitive units found in the optic nerve and torus, and short wavelength sensitivity found in the optic nerve and tectum. The shorter wave-length inputs were excitatory and, if found in the same unit, synergistic. The most common type of unit in the trout tectum and optic nerve is trichromatic, with ON inputs from the long and short cone mechanisms and an OFF input from the medium mechanism. In contrast, goldfish color vision is dominated by L and M opponent units without S input. The segregation of ultraviolet sensitivity in the torus but not in the tectum relates to functional differences of these two areas. While the tectum serves the function of wavelength discrimination, ultraviolet inputs to the torus may contribute to prey detection and orientation.
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