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Multifocal lenses in a monochromat: the harbour seal

Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 3315-3322
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Experimental Biology
Volym: 211
Nummer: 20
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: The Company of Biologists Ltd


Previous photorefractive results from harbour seals indicated the presence of a multifocal lens. This was surprising because the evolution of multifocal lenses has served to compensate for chromatic aberration in animals with colour vision, which harbour seals as monochromats should not be capable of. To gain insight into the lens optics of these animals, we extended our photorefractive measurements in live seals under water and in air and, additionally, analyzed eight extracted juvenile harbour seal lenses with schlieren photography and a laser scanning technique. The results from all methods applied support the presence of multifocal lenses in harbour seals. However, the functional significance of multiple focal lengths in harbour seal lenses remains speculative. Interestingly, the slit pupils of harbour seals cannot be considered to be an adaptation to the multifocal optical system of the eye.


  • Zoology
  • lens
  • harbour seal
  • Phoca vitulina
  • multifocal


  • ISSN: 1477-9145

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