by Michael Land
Edition: 2nd., 2012
The study of animal eyes is cumulative; old knowledge is rarely superseded, but often added to. This is reflected in the way we have approached this new edition. The chapter layout of the first edition worked well, and we have retained it, along with much of the original text. We have concentrated on advances that have been made in the last decade, and on remedying some of the omissions of the first edition.
‘The eye’ to most people means an eye like ours, a single-chambered camera-like structure with a retina in place of the film, or the CCD array. Most know, too, that insects have compound eyes with many lenses, but how many people can answer the question: does the insect see the multitude of images beloved of Hollywood horror films, or a single image similar to our own? We use this example to point out that, even to most biologists, eyes remote from our own are poorly understood and come in only one or two varieties. This hugely underestimates the diversity of eye types: there are at least ten quite distinct ways that eyes form images. Some of these such as pin-holes and lenses are familiar, but others are more exotic.
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