How is the New Mantis Shrimp Research New
I have to admit that I’m a bit confused about all the news articles talking about a “new” discovery about the eyes of mantis shrimp (stomatopods). The articles talk excitedly about the discovery that the eyes and brain of the mantis shrimp can perceive shifts in polarized light in meaningful ways.
I hate to put a damper on mantis shrimp research, but wasn’t this already known. Back in October, I wrote here, “The stomatopod’s cornea is bisected by a few rows of special sensors that detect color and polarized light.” That mantis shrimp use
Well, maybe this offers something new: “The researchers describe the anatomical basis for stomatopods’ remarkable vision in detail and show that these structures are stimulated when circular polarized light shines into them. They also offer behavioral proof of the stomatopods’ ability by training them to associate either left-handed or right-handed circular polarized light (L-CPL or R-CPL) with a food reward.”
Maybe the precise understanding of the anatomical structure in stomatopod eyes is new. Maybe. However, it was my impression that these things had also already been researched. I’d love to hear from some stomatopod experts out there to set me straight.