Heretofore Unknown…

GBY in a complicated retina

This image shows a portion of retinal system far more complex than what we use in our own human eyes.  This retina is from the lowly goldfish Carassius auratus auratus that possesses a retina with ~3 times the number of cell types in its retina that are capable of detecting more wavelengths of light than the 3 colors that most humans are able to detect.

This is another in a series of scientific art images that utilize computational molecular phenotyping (CMP) to visualize the metabolism in cells.  The antibodies label small molecular species, GABA, AGB and L-glutamate revealing the metabolic state and therefore, classes of bipolar, amacrine and horizontal cells.



6 Replies to “Heretofore Unknown…”

  1. Is there a difference in the retina between the “common” goldfish and those bred for larger fins and other varieties including those that have funny eyes (e.g. celestial eye, telescope eye)?

    1. That’s actually a pretty good question. My impression is that the fluid sac is independent of the orbit of the eye. Dunno about this though as I’ve never had the opportunity to examine one up close.

  2. In any case it is rather surprising that after all the generations of human-led genetic selection, that such a vision range is still useful to goldfish who would only be looking at tank/pond sides, other goldfish and fish food.

    1. Ah, that is just it. Goldfish have had much longer continuous evolution than have mammalians and therefore have more accumulated evolution. Also, think about the environment fish are in. It is a very complex world in shallow water with interfaces, color filtering, distortion, etc… Its much more complicated than you are appreciating.

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