Jellyfish Have Human-Like Eyes

Most jellyfish drift freely in the ocean current but the dangerous box jellyfish is an active swimmer. To help it navigate, the box jellyfish has 24 eyes that dangle from their cube-shaped bodies. One set of eyes is remarkably well developed and can detect color, size and shape, similar to our own eyes. At Lund University in Sweden, researchers recently set up a jellyfish obstacle course to test their vision and were surprised by how deftly the box jellyfish were able to avoid objects in the tank. However, their ability to jump through flaming hoops left much to be desire

Clearly there will be a Eukenuba jellyfish competition in the near future. Box Jellyfish,
Class Cubozoa
Because jellyfish belong to one of the first groups of animals to evolve eyes (the phylum Cnidaria), understanding how their eyes operate will show scientists what eyes were like early in evolutionary time.

“Cubomedusae”, from Ernst Haeckel‘s Kunstformen der Natur, 1904

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]


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