Saturday, 27 December 2014

Ancient Eye Cells Suggest Color Vision Is 300 Million Years Old

by Charles Q. Choi, Live Science Contributor | December 23, 2014 11:01am ET

Fossilized rod and cone cells — the kinds that help people see — have been discovered for the first time, researchers say.

The finding reveals that such eye cells have existed for at least 300 million years, and that the ancient fish they were discovered in likely saw in color, according to the study's scientists.

Human vision depends on pigments that absorb light. These pigments lie inside cells known asrods and cones. Cones are sensitive to color and also help perceive fine detail and rapid changes. Rods are more sensitive to light than cones, but are not sensitive to color, and are responsible for peripheral and night vision. Both rods and cones are found in a layer of tissue in the back of the eye known as the retina.

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