Built-in polarizers form part of a compass organ in spiders
Some insects and vertebrates use the pattern of polarized light in the sky as an optical compass. Only a small section of clear sky needs to be visible for bees and ants to obtain a compass bearing for accurate navigation. The receptors involved in the polarization compass are confined to a small part of the retina, and the eyes are built predominantly for other visual tasks. Here we report the discovery of a unique compass organ in the spider Drassodes cupreus, where a pair of specialized...[Show more]
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