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Owlscrying

Jellyfish have human-like eyes

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Apr. 2

A set of special eyes, similar to our own, keeps venomous box jellyfish from bumping 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 objects. Scientists suspect that box jellyfish are such agile because one set of their 24 eyes detects objects that get in their way.

Behavior-wise, they’re very different from normal jellyfish.

The eyes of box jellyfish are located on cup-like structures that hang from their cube-shaped bodies.

Whereas we have one set of multi-purpose 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.

One of these eyes is located on the top of the cup-like structure, the other on the bottom, which provides the jellyfish with “an extreme fish-eye view, so it’s watching almost the entire underwater world

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

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Wonder if they're so similar, if they could use them for eye transplants..?? (the pair that detects color and size) ;)

Seriously, I've seen jellyfish in the ocean but never saw any eyes looking up at me. That would be a creeped out experience.

Wonder how they compare in size to a normal jellyfish? Do they contain brains?

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Wonder if they're so similar, if they could use them for eye transplants..??

They're similar in terms of function, the anatomy is very different though. Although I have to say this is the first time I've ever heard that they have eyes at all. They definetely wouldn't be used for transplants though, not when there are dozens of species of mammals that have eyes more similar to our own.

Wonder how they compare in size to a normal jellyfish? Do they contain brains?

Nope, no brains at all. They have a well developed nervous system though.

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