Kiwi forego vision in the guidance of their nocturnal activities.

Show simple item record Martin, GR en Wilson, KJ en Wild, John en Parsons, Stuart en Kubke, Maria en Corfield, Jeremy en 2011-08-11T04:01:58Z en 2007 en
dc.identifier.citation PLoS ONE 2(2) 2007 en
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Background. In vision, there is a trade-off between sensitivity and resolution, and any eye which maximises information gain at low light levels needs to be large. This imposes exacting constraints upon vision in nocturnal flying birds. Eyes are essentially heavy, fluid-filled chambers, and in flying birds their increased size is countered by selection for both reduced body mass and the distribution of mass towards the body core. Freed from these mass constraints, it would be predicted that in flightless birds nocturnality should favour the evolution of large eyes and reliance upon visual cues for the guidance of activity. Methodology/Principal Findings. We show that in Kiwi (Apterygidae), flightlessness and nocturnality have, in fact, resulted in the opposite outcome. Kiwi show minimal reliance upon vision indicated by eye structure, visual field topography, and brain structures, and increased reliance upon tactile and olfactory information. Conclusions/Significance. This lack of reliance upon vision and increased reliance upon tactile and olfactory information in Kiwi is markedly similar to the situation in nocturnal mammals that exploit the forest floor. That Kiwi and mammals evolved to exploit these habitats quite independently provides evidence for convergent evolution in their sensory capacities that are tuned to a common set of perceptual challenges found in forest floor habitats at night and which cannot be met by the vertebrate visual system. We propose that the Kiwi visual system has undergone adaptive regressive evolution driven by the trade-off between the relatively low rate of gain of visual information that is possible at low light levels, and the metabolic costs of extracting that information. en
dc.language EN en
dc.relation.ispartofseries PLoS ONE en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Details obtained from en
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dc.title Kiwi forego vision in the guidance of their nocturnal activities. en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0000198 en
pubs.issue 2 en
pubs.volume 2 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: 2007 PLoS ONE en
dc.identifier.pmid 17332846 en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 73823 en Medical and Health Sciences en Medical Sciences en Anatomy and Medical Imaging en
pubs.number e198 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2010-09-01 en
pubs.dimensions-id 17332846 en

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