Madrid, 20 (Europe Press)
College of Arts and Sciences professor Elke Puschbeck and co-authors studied the photoreceptors in the eyes of jumping spiders, small, eight-legged predators found in North America. The university said in a statement that these young hunters rely on their strong vision to pursue their prey.
But researchers have discovered that malnourished spiders begin to lose the photoreceptors that give them such good vision. Their findings could improve our understanding of the role nutrition plays in common age-related vision problems, such as macular degeneration, according to the study published in the journal Vision Research.
His discovery happened by chance while he was examining the eyes of caught jumping spiders using specially designed ophthalmoscopes in his lab, which can take pictures of the retinas of insects and spiders. They found dark spots on some of the spiders’ photoreceptors, indicating that they had deteriorated during life or evolution.
To test their hypothesis, Miranda Bradford and John Gotti, both alumni of the University of California, studied two groups of captive spiders, one fed an unrestricted natural diet and the other given half rations. In the malnourished group, the spiders lost more photoreceptors, particularly in the part of the retina that had the highest density of photoreceptors.