2016 Mar

Difference in Physics in the Eyes of Human and Insect

March 11, 2016

Physics of Insect Eye

Regarding structure, the human eye possesses a single large lens whereas insect eyes have many small lenses, having one lens per eye subunit (ommatidium). Each ommatidium’s lens focuses light on a small number of photosensitive cells without making any adjustments. Human eyes on the other hand have the iris which regulates the amount of light entering the eye, ciliary muscles focuses the lens on the subject being observed, and a large number of photosensitive cells cooperate to form an image.

Regarding visual acuity (this is the vision quality that determines the details the eye can see in a particular image). In compound eyes, the visual acuity is depended on the number and size of the ommatidia in the eye. In the human eye, the visual acuity is depended on the photosensitive cells’ density in the retina. Hence, the human eye is approximately a hundred times improved than that of the insect’s compound eye.

Regarding color, the photosensitive cells of an eye determines what colors it can detect. Many insects lack the ability to see color, so most insects can see only dark and light. On the other hand, the human eye can detect different colors and shadings.

Detection of other parts of the Electromagnetic spectrum

Many insects, like bees, can identify ultraviolet (UV) light, which offers them some assistance with finding nectar in blooms. Plant species that rely on insect pollination may owe conceptive accomplishment to their appearance in bright light as opposed to how beautiful they appear to people. Birds, as well, can see in the UV light, and some possess sex-related markings on their plumage that are visible just in the UV range of the spectrum. Cats and dogs also have the capacity to see in the UV light which is invisible to the human eye as learnt during our A level Physics tuition class on EM Spectrum.

There are many animals that can detect infrared, relatively a few of them can sense it through their eyes. Snakes are a good example when it comes to infrared “vision”. The more established boids, a class that incorporates pythons and boas, have pits lined with warmth sensors along their lower and upper jaws. The crotaline, pit snakes, have a sensor-lined film extended over a pit between their nose and eyes.

The boids’ and crotaline’s infrared-sensing pit organs are similar in their electrophysiological and ultrastructure function but differ in location, number and general morphology. While the labial pits of boids are straightforward, the sole loreal pair of crotaline that is situated in between the nostril and the eye has a more intricate structure. This follows the bolometer design, which has a dainty film suspended over an inferior air-filled chamber. For both types, their heat-sensitive membrane is innervated with sensual dendrites, which are made from trigeminal nerve terminal portions. A previous study has proposed that these nerve filaments are richly supplied with assumed infrared sensors, heat-sensitive particles channels of the TRPA1 sort.

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