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Table of Contents
Vol. 75, No. 4, 2010
Issue release date: August 2010
Section title: Original Paper
Brain Behav Evol 2010;75:251–261
(DOI:10.1159/000314898)

Visual Acuity and Heterogeneities of Retinal Ganglion Cell Densities and the Tapetum Lucidum of the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Pettigrew J.D.a · Bhagwandin A.b · Haagensen M.c · Manger P.R.b
aQueensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., Australia; bSchool of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, and cDepartment of Radiology, University of the Witwatersrand-Donald Gordon Medical Centre, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: March 25, 2010
Accepted: May 05, 2010
Published online: June 28, 2010
Issue release date: August 2010

Number of Print Pages: 11
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

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

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

Abstract

The eyes of three adult male African elephants were examined, the retinas were whole-mounted, stained and analyzed to determine visual acuity. A range of small to large ganglion cell types were observed across the retinas. We observed three regions of high ganglion cell density, one in the upper temporal quadrant, a visual or horizontal streak and a smaller region at the nasal end of the horizontal streak. The peak density of ganglion cells observed was 5,280/mm2, and our calculations indicate that the elephant has a maximal visual acuity of between 13.16 and 14.37 cycles/degree. We observed a heterogeneous structure of a tapetum lucidum, the cells of which were found to be most strongly aggregated behind the temporal and nasal densities of retinal ganglion cells. The strength of the tapetum lucidum was weaker posterior to the density of ganglion cells forming the horizontal streak. The morphology of the elephant eye appears to be such that it reflects: (1) the importance of trunk–eye co-ordination for feeding; (2) the importance of 24-hour vigilance for either predators or conspecifics, and (3) the arrhythmic nature of the daily activity of this animal, being useful both diurnally and nocturnally.

© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: March 25, 2010
Accepted: May 05, 2010
Published online: June 28, 2010
Issue release date: August 2010

Number of Print Pages: 11
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

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

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


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