Dynamic polarization vision in mantis shrimps

I.M. Daly, M.J. How, Julian C. Partridge, S.E. Temple, N.J. Marshall, T.W. Cronin, N.W. Roberts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    Gaze stabilization is an almost ubiquitous animal behaviour, one that is required to see the world clearly and without blur. Stomatopods, however, only fix their eyes on scenes or objects of interest occasionally. Almost uniquely among animals they explore their visual environment with a series pitch, yaw and torsional (roll) rotations of their eyes, where each eye may also move largely independently of the other. In this work, we demonstrate that the torsional rotations are used to actively enhance their ability to see the polarization of light. Both Gonodactylus smithii and Odontodactylus scyllarus rotate their eyes to align particular photoreceptors relative to the angle of polarization of a linearly polarized visual stimulus, thereby maximizing the polarization contrast between an object of interest and its background. This is the first documented example of any animal displaying dynamic polarization vision, in which the polarization information is actively maximized through rotational eye movements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number12140
    JournalNature Communications
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic polarization vision in mantis shrimps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this