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Oldest colour vision cells, 300 million years ago

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From Nature:

Vision, which consists of an optical system, receptors and image-processing capacity, has existed for at least 520 Myr. Except for the optical system, as in the calcified lenses of trilobite and ostracod arthropods, other parts of the visual system are not usually preserved in the fossil record, because the soft tissue of the eye and the brain decay rapidly after death, such as within 64 days and 11 days, respectively. The Upper Carboniferous Hamilton Formation (300 Myr) in Kansas, USA, yields exceptionally well-preserved animal fossils in an estuarine depositional setting. Here we show that the original colour, shape and putative presence of eumelanin have been preserved in the acanthodii fish Acanthodes bridgei. We also report on the tissues of its eye, which provides the first record of mineralized rods and cones in a fossil and indicates that this 300 Myr-old fish likely possessed colour vision. –

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MeThink, infrared light is as fine tuned as visible light. Heck, the entire electromagnetic spectrum is the result of exquisite fine tuning, IR light was necessary for Life to begin, and IR light is needed to this day to help keep the Earth a bountiful "greenhouse". Yes, some creatures see IR light, some see UV, some see visible, some see a combination. But to write that off as unguided and purposeless is to miss out on an awfully large amount of great design, great science. The "Invisible Shield" recently discovered is pretty neat too: http://www.astronomy.com/news/2014/12/star-trek-like-invisible-shield-found-thousands-of-miles-above-earth ppolish
polistra @ 6
Color sensing was only needed if color generators were present, and color generators had no purpose unless color sensing was already present.
Not really. You forgot infrared detection. Color detection evolved from them. Me_Think
"Unguided evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life" Keith S Andre
@what color looked like back then... Good question. There's not much color among the non-living stuff in deep water because there's very little incident light. Color is largely provided by living things that make their own illumination. Luminescent bacteria, and animals like pyrosomes and fish using the luminescent bacteria for their own signaling purposes. So it's yet another case where simultaneous "random" development was required. Color sensing was only needed if color generators were present, and color generators had no purpose unless color sensing was already present. polistra
"Colors" are fine tuned to about a 1000 decimal places, and Nature is supposed to discover them randomly. That to me is Free Will. Big time free will:) http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2013/fine-tuning-emissions-from-quantum-dots-0602 ppolish
You have to wonder what color looked like way back then - 300 odd million years ago. Certainly not the colors we see, or our dogs & cats see. ppolish
Of related note: ‘Mother Lode’ of (505 million years ago Cambrian) Fossils Discovered in Canada – Feb. 11, 2014 Excerpt: Retinas, corneas, neural tissue, guts and even a possible heart and liver were found. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mother-lode-of-fossils-discovered-in-canada/ Complex Arthropod Eyes Found in Early Cambrian - June 2011 Excerpt: Complex eyes with modern optics from an unknown arthropod, more complex than trilobite eyes, have been discovered in early Cambrian strata from southern Australia.,,, Here we report exceptionally preserved fossil eyes from the Early Cambrian (~515 million years ago) Emu Bay Shale of South Australia, revealing that some of the earliest arthropods possessed highly advanced compound eyes, each with over 3,000 large ommatidial lenses and a specialized ‘bright zone’. These are the oldest non-biomineralized eyes known in such detail, with preservation quality exceeding that found in the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang deposits. Non-biomineralized eyes of similar complexity are otherwise unknown until about 85 million years later. The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these eyes belonged to an active predator that was capable of seeing in low light. The eyes are more complex than those known from contemporaneous trilobites and are as advanced as those of many living forms. They provide further evidence that the Cambrian explosion involved rapid innovation in fine-scale anatomy as well as gross morphology, http://crev.info/content/110629-complex_arthropod_eyes_found_in_early_cambrian Modern optics in the eyes of an Early Cambrian arthropod - June 2011 Excerpt: 'the Emu Bay Shale, which provides exquisite preservation of Early Cambrian animals, has now supplied us with the earliest example of an non-trilobite arthropod eye. Of the seven specimens recovered to date, three are spectacular for the detail revealed and stunning because they document eyes that "are as advanced as those of many living forms" http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2011/07/01/modern_optics_in_the_eyes_of_an_early_ca bornagain77
Mung #1, It is just one component. However, for there to be an image processing system there must also be a signal transmission and a signal processor at the bare minimum. According to Behe, just changing the retina curvature in a functioning image processing system requires a very complex change in protein-protein interactions. EugeneS
light sensitive spot = vision Mung

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