General, Research, Technology

Why did scientists put 3D glasses on cuttlefish?

Can you name a few right nowfacts about cuttlefish? If not, let's recall the school curriculum and excerpts from documentary series such as “BBC: Life,” which talk about these amazing creatures. So, cuttlefish are cephalopods, which spend most of their lives at the bottom of the seas and oceans. In order to protect against predators, they release ink, and regulate their buoyancy by moving fluid and air inside their shell. But did you know that these mollusks also have one of the most unusual eye structures in the animal world and are able to see the world at an angle of 360 degrees? Scientists already know how they can distinguish colors, but they still do not understand how the mollusks perceive the depth of the visible space. Recently, neuroscientists from the UK managed to unravel one of the secrets of cuttlefish.

Cuttlefish in 3D glasses

The research conducted by scientists wasnarrated in the science edition of Science Advances. The structure of cuttlefish eyes is truly amazing, because they have only one photoreceptor and, in theory, should not distinguish colors. However, thanks to a special W-shaped pupil, they see the world in color rather than black and white. In addition, cuttlefish of the species Sepia officinalis, just like humans, are believed to have stereoscopic vision and, in principle, are capable of watching 3D films.

Cuttlefish Sepia officinalis

Animals with the most unusual vision

To watch 3D movies it is necessary that the brainreceived an image from two eyes at the same time, and it is important that they look forward. However, cuttlefish eyes basically look in different directions to achieve a 360-degree view. At the same time, sometimes they still turn their eyes forward and neuroscientists have the assumption that with this arrangement of eyes, cuttlefish may well see 3D films as voluminous as we see.

In principle, cuttlefish are quite capable of watching 3D movies

To test this, researchers took 14cuttlefish and put on them tiny 3D glasses that are fastened with Velcro. The mollusks were placed in an aquarium, next to which was a screen with a video about two floating shrimps of different colors. According to the researchers, if the cuttlefish could really turn their eyes forward to ensure perception of the depth of the picture, they would take prey for real ones and try to catch them.

See also: Cuttlefish inspired scientists to create material that can change its color

Everything happened as scientists expected. Right in the aquarium, cuttlefish saw moving shrimp and really tried to catch them. Scientists considered this action to be good proof that the principle of determining the depth of space of some species of mollusks is similar to human methods. It turns out that cuttlefish are among the rare invertebrate animals capable of perceiving depth. And of course, cuttlefish may well watch 3D movies.

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Of course, this does not mean that cuttlefish seethe world is just like people. Yes, unlike us, they can see everything that happens around them. In addition, the mollusk brain is not as developed as the human one and it processes images in a completely different way. In general, the sight of cuttlefish is a very complex mechanism and scientists will probably continue to study it. The experiment, however, told us about another feature of amazing animals.