Behavioural evidence for polarisation vision in stomatopods reveals a potential channel for communication
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Type of Work4 pages
Citation of Original PublicationJustin Marshall , Thomas W. Cronin , Nadav Shashar , Mike Land, Behavioural evidence for polarisation vision in stomatopods reveals a potential channel for communication, Current Biology, Volume 9, Issue 14, 15 July 1999, Pages 755-758, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0960-9822(99)80336-4
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Polarisation sensitivity (PS) – the ability to detect the orientation of polarised light – occurs in a wide variety of invertebrates ,  and vertebrates , , , many of which are marine species . Of these, the crustacea are particularly well documented in terms of their structural  and neural ,  adaptations for PS. The few behavioural studies conducted on crustaceans demonstrate orientation to, or local navigation with, polarised sky patterns . Aside from this, the function of PS in crustaceans, and indeed in most animals, remains obscure. Where PS can be shown to allow perception of polarised light as a ‘special sensory quality’ , separate from intensity or colour, it has been termed polarisation vision (PV). Here, within the remarkable visual system of the stomatopod crustaceans (mantis shrimps) , we provide the first demonstration of PV in the crustacea and the first convincing evidence for learning the orientation of polarised light in any animal. Using new polarimetric  and photographic methods to examine stomatopods, we found striking patterns of polarisation on their antennae and telson, suggesting that one function of PV in stomatopods may be communication . PV may also be used for tasks such as navigation , , , location of reflective water surfaces  and contrast enhancement , , , , . It is possible that the stomatopod PV system also contributes to some of these functions