Visual Pigments and the Environment

  • W. R. A. Muntz
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 1)


The fishes live in a more varied light environment than any other group of vertebrates. Thus many species inhabit the clear waters of the open ocean, occupying both the well lit surface levels and the great depths where no daylight penetrates. Others inhabit the relatively turbid and muddy waters of rivers and coastal regions, and yet others may leave the water at times and use their eyes in air. These environmental differences not only apply to different species, but also often to a given species at different periods of its life. A number of fishes, for example, migrate between the sea and freshwater during their breeding cycles, and thus expose themselves to very different light environments, and the quantity and quality of the light in many bodies of water show marked seasonal variations due to factors such as the growth of plankton. Such different environments must present widely different visual problems to their inhabitants.


Spectral Sensitivity Visual Pigment Spectral Absorbance Cone Pigment Short Wavelength Light 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. R. A. Muntz
    • 1
  1. 1.Lab. of Exptl. PsychologyUniversity of SussexBrightonEngland

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