It has been documented that several types of cephalopods, most notably squid and octopuses, and potentially cuttlefish, have eyes that can distinguish the orientation of polarized light. This sensitivity is due to the orthogonal organization of neighboring photoreceptors. To illustrate, the vertebrate eye is normally insensitive to polarization differences because visual pigment in rods and cones is arrayed semi-randomly, and is thereby equally sensitive to any orientation of the e-vector axis of the light. Because of their orthogonal organization, the visual pigment molecules in cephalopod eyes have the highest light absorption when aligned properly with the light e-vector axis, allowing sensitivity to differences in polarization. The precise function of this ability has not been proven, but is hypothesized to be for prey detection, navigation, and possibly communication among the color-changing cephalopods.
Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) eye
Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) eye
Read more about this topic: Cephalopod Eye
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Famous quotes related to polarized light:
“Polarized light showed the secret architecture of bodies; and when the second-sight of the mind is opened, now one color or form or gesture, and now another, has a pungency, as if a more interior ray had been emitted, disclosing its deep holdings in the frame of things.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)