Colour vision in marsupials [ 2003 - 2005 ]

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers Ms CA Arrese Dr LD Beazley Prof DM Hunt

Brief description The ability to distinguish colours is a crucial aspect of vision, providing vital data for sexual selection, predator detection and food acquisition. Studies of mammalian colour vision have largely overlooked marsupials. Our recent investigation of spectral sensitivity in two Australian species revealed a colour discrimination capacity beyond that of placentals (excluding primates), implying disparate evolutionary pressures in the two groups. We will provide the first comprehensive description of colour vision in marsupials, studying species with differing rhythmicities, habitats and diets. Wavelength sensitivity and molecular structure of retinal visual pigments will be assessed in relation to evolutionary influences and ecological demands.

Funding Amount $285,000

Funding Scheme Discovery Projects

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