Monday, June 4, 2012

Strange Nervous System Adaptations in Reptiles

Strange Nervous System Adaptations in Reptiles

It is by coincidence that I am simultaneously learning about animal nervous systems in both this class and in herpetology.  I found out today that some reptiles, most notably the sea snake, can detect ultraviolet light through photoreceptors in their skin.  For the olive sea snake, the photoreceptors are present on the tail.  Sea snakes live in crevices in reefs, and cannot tell by plain sight or feel whether they are completely hidden from predators or not.  The ability to sense light with their tails lets them know that their tails are still exposed, prompting them to move them out of sight. It's almost like seeing with your skin!






Link to a related paper:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/1446454

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