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Visual Ecology$
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Thomas W. Cronin, Sönke Johnsen, N. Justin Marshall, and Eric J. Warrant

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151847

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151847.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Visual Pigments and Photoreceptors

Visual Pigments and Photoreceptors

(p.37) 3 Visual Pigments and Photoreceptors
Visual Ecology

Thomas W. Cronin

Sönke Johnsen

N. Justin Marshall

Eric J. Warrant

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on visual pigments and photoreceptors. In living things, photoreception inevitably begins with a photochemical event—a molecule intercepts a photon of light and is somehow changed. Various molecules, generally known as photopigments, perform this function in animals and plants. The molecules involved in vision are called visual pigments. In all animals, vision ultimately depends on a single family of proteins that all have descended from one common ancestor—these are the opsins. The chapter cites the hydrothermal vent crab as a good example of how changes of visual pigments appearing in various developmental states reflect ecological adaptation. The animal's life stages require visual systems sampling opposite ends of the visual spectrum.

Keywords:   visual pigments, photoreceptors, photoreception, photon, molecule, ospins, hydrothermal vent crab, visual spectrum, photopigments

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