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Data from: The sea urchin Diadema africanum uses low resolution vision to find shelter and deter enemies

Citation

Kirwan, John D. et al. (2018), Data from: The sea urchin Diadema africanum uses low resolution vision to find shelter and deter enemies, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6vn9658

Abstract

Many sea urchins can detect light on their body surface and some species are reported to possess image-resolving vision. Here we measure the spatial resolution of vision in the long-spined sea urchin Diadema africanum, using two different visual responses: a taxis towards dark objects and an alarm response of spine-pointing towards looming stimuli. For the taxis response we used isoluminant visual stimuli to discriminate spatial vision from phototaxis. Individual animals were placed in the centre of a cylindrical arena under bright down-welling light, with stimuli of varying angular dimensions placed on the arena wall at pseudorandom directions from the centre. We tracked the direction of movement of individual animals in relation to the stimuli to determine whether the animals oriented towards the stimulus. We found that D. africanum responds by taxis towards isoluminant stimuli with a spatial resolution of 38° - 89°, assuming a contrast threshold of 10%. The visual acuity of the alarm response of D. africanum was tested by exposing animals to different sized dark looming and appearing stimuli on a monitor. We found that D. africanum displays a spine-pointing response to appearing black circles with a spatial resolution of 60° - 116°, assuming the same contrast threshold as above.

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