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Table of Contents
Vol. 70, No. 2, 2007
Issue release date: August 2007
Section title: Original Paper
Brain Behav Evol 2007;70:90–104
(DOI:10.1159/000102971)

Cone Photoreceptor Diversity in the Retinas of Fruit Bats (Megachiroptera)

Müller B.a · Goodman S.M.b, c · Peichl L.a
aMax Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; bField Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Ill., USA; cWWF, Antananarivo, Madagascar

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: August 24, 2006
Accepted: November 13, 2006
Published online: May 18, 2005
Issue release date: August 2007

Number of Print Pages: 15
Number of Figures: 7
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/BBE

Abstract

Older studies have claimed that bats including the Megachiroptera (fruit bats or flying foxes) have pure-rod retinas and possess no cone photoreceptors. We have determined the presence and the population densities of spectral cone types in six megachiropteran species belonging to four genera: Pteropus rufus, P. niger, P. rodricensis, Rousettus madagascariensis, Eidolon dupreanum, and Epomophorus gambianus. Spectral cone types and rods were assessed immunocytochemically with opsin-specific antibodies. All six species have rod-dominated retinas but possess significant cone populations. The high rod densities (range 350,000–800,000/mm2, depending on species and retinal location) provide good scotopic sensitivity in these predominantly nocturnal animals. With the cones (density range 1,300–11,000/mm2, corresponding to 0.25–0.6% of the photoreceptors, depending on species and retinal location) the retinas also possess the prerequisite for vision at photopic light levels. The three Pteropus species have two spectral cone types, a majority of middle-to-long-wave sensitive (L-) cones, and a minority of short-wave sensitive (S-) cones, indicating the potential for dichromatic color vision. This conforms to the pattern found in most mammals. In contrast, Rousettus, Eidolon and Epomophorus have L-cones but completely lack S-cones, indicating cone monochromacy and color blindness. The discussion relates these findings to the visual behavior of fruit bats.

© 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: August 24, 2006
Accepted: November 13, 2006
Published online: May 18, 2005
Issue release date: August 2007

Number of Print Pages: 15
Number of Figures: 7
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/BBE


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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