Color vision in 300 million year old fish

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jim mcnamara

'Mineralized rods and cones suggest colour vision in a 300 Myr-old fossil fish'

Management version: This pushes back in time the probable confirmation of the existence color vision.

Interesting point to note: Vertebrates with eyes were on land long before this time. The existence of some type of eye goes back to about 520mya, in marine fossils. So, unless lots of parallel evolution occurred, we should expect rods and cones from earlier terrestrial and marine fossils - given that the phyla with extensive color vision were extant long before 300mya.

The preservation of these kinds eye tissues is rare. Or at least has not been reported all that often. Now that this has been published some other folks might apply these methods on earlier fossils.

Way cool.
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Keep looking and looking and looking, and once in a while something new pops out of the ground.

What is color vision and how does it work?

Color vision is the ability to perceive and distinguish different colors. It is achieved through specialized cells in the eyes called cones, which are sensitive to different wavelengths of light. These cones send signals to the brain, which interprets the signals as different colors.

Can fish see in color?

Yes, fish have color vision, although it may differ from species to species. Some fish have a limited color range, while others have a wider range of color perception.

How do 300 million year old fish differ in their color vision compared to modern fish?

It is difficult to say for certain without studying specific species, but it is likely that 300 million year old fish had a more limited color range. This is because color vision relies on specialized cells and sensory structures, which may have evolved and developed over time.

Why is color vision important for fish?

Color vision is important for fish for a variety of reasons. It can help them identify potential prey or predators, navigate their environment, and communicate with other fish. It can also play a role in mate selection and courtship behavior.

What can studying color vision in 300 million year old fish tell us about evolution?

Studying color vision in 300 million year old fish can provide insight into how this sensory ability has evolved over time. It can help us understand the origins of color vision and how it has adapted and changed in different species. This can also give us a better understanding of the evolutionary history of fish and their sensory abilities.

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