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Built-in polarizers form part of a compass organ in spiders

Dacke, M; Nilsson, D; Warrant, Eric; Blest, A; Land, M F; O'Carroll, D C


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]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 1999
Type: Journal article
Source: Nature
DOI: 10.1038/46773


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