Miniature 3D glasses test vision in Praying Mantises and Cuttlefish
January 15, 2020 10:40 AM   Subscribe

How do mantises see in 3D? Researchers find out by gluing tiny 3D glasses to a mantis' face and showing the insect movies (Wired, with an embedded 10 minute video; Science News coverage; open access article from Nature Communications). That's great, but what about cephalopods? Scientists put 3D glasses on cuttlefish and showed them film clips. The results were surprising (CNN with embedded 1 minute video; New Scientist coverage; open access article from Science Advances | Neuroscience).
posted by filthy light thief (11 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Other animals with eyes that move independently rely on different mechanisms to work out distance. Chameleons figure it out from how much the lens has to change to focus an image. Many squid rely on a similar trick. They have a bump on their retina that lets them detect how quickly an image goes out of focus. Octopuses, meanwhile, probably can’t sense distance at all.

But Wardill suspected cuttlefish use the same method that we do, called stereopsis. To find out, he and his colleague Rachael Feord glued a Velcro strip to the heads of 14 European cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) so they could quickly and easily attach red-green 3D glasses.

Three of the animals always removed the glasses when they were put back in the tank, but 11 tolerated them. Wardill and Feord carried out a series of tests with these cuttlefish, measuring how they positioned themselves and where they tried to grab the virtual shrimp as its apparent position was changed. The findings show that the cuttlefish rely on stereopsis.


*dons 3D glasses*

Cool-thulu.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:51 AM on January 15 [11 favorites]


And if you were worried or wondered: the team super glued Velcro to the skin of the cuttlefish. Then they fastened 3D glasses, with one red and one blue filtered lens, to the Velcro on the skin. The glue used on the cuttlefish lasted only a few days, and complied with institutional recommendations for cephalopods.

Not sure how the lenses were affixed to the praying mantises.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:53 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Dr. Clayton Forrester has gone too far this time.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:29 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


“That's great, but what about cephalopods?”

I can't tell you how many times I've heard that question.
No, really.
posted by lothar at 11:47 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: complied with institutional recommendations for cephalopods
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:24 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Three out of fourteen cuttlefish agree: 3D movies suck.
posted by BeeDo at 1:07 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Conclusion: all test animals looked dope as hell.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:08 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


"My cuttlefish is dope."
"...d?"
"No."
posted by BeeDo at 1:23 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: complied with institutional recommendations for cephalopods

While tastefully avoiding culinary recommendations: those are right out.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 3:39 PM on January 15


Yeah, that's the problem. I really don't like to eat octopus and cuttlefish, but I will make exceptions in particular circumstances. As for squid, nom nom nom. The carnivore's dilemma, I guess.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:49 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Not sure how the lenses were affixed to the praying mantises.

Beeswax, basically. Little softened lump between the eyes and the lenses stuck right on.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:50 AM on January 16


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