A jellyfish with human-like eyes?
(Top Posts - Science - 040207)

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Jellyfish have human-like eyes

One set of eyes on box jellyfish
detect color and size of objects

A set of special eyes, similar to our own,
keeps venomous box jellyfish from bump-
ing into obstacles as they swim across
the ocean floor, a new study finds.

Unlike normal jellyfish, which drift in the
ocean current, box jellyfish are active
swimmers that can rapidly make 180-
degree turns and deftly dart between


Whereas we have one set of multi-pur-
pose eyes that sense color, size, shape
and light intensity, box jellyfish have four
different types of special-purpose eyes.

The most primitive set detects only light
levels, but one set of eyes is more
sophisticated and can detect the color
and size of objects.


Because jellyfish belong to one of the
first groups of animals to evolve eyes
(the phylum Cnidaria), Garm said, under-
standing how their eyes operate will
show scientists what eyes were like
early in evolutionary time.

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