Butterfl-eyes: The evolution and function of insect vision (Ep 69)


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By Art Woods and Marty Martin, Art Woods, and Marty Martin. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

What does the world look like through insect eyes? What biological mechanisms make their vision different from our own? And how might those differences influence their evolution?

On this episode, we talk with UC Irvine evolutionary biologist Adriana Briscoe (@AdrianaBriscoe) about color vision in insects, particularly Heliconius butterflies. We discuss how their perception of the world has led to such massive diversification and how variation in the structure of the light-sensitive opsin proteins that detect light enable species to perceive the world differently. We also discuss how visual perception differences within species might shape behaviors such as pollination, and what ecological factors could drive visual system evolution across the tree of life.

Cover art: Keating Shahmehri

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