This animal has very strange eyes.  In humans, their weight reaches 100 kilograms

Nature constantly amazes us. There are all kinds of creatures in the world whose shapes and features are “unnatural,” which is why specialists spend years searching for them. Explore their secrets and evolutionary paths.

Scientists draw attention to a specific type of sea worm that belongs to the Alciopidae family of polychaete worms. It turns out that its eyes are huge and about 20 times heavier than the rest of its head. If a person had such handles, his total weight would be about 100 kg.

Why does a worm need such giant eyes?

The researchers point out that we have known about these unusual animals for some time, but it has never been possible to determine how they live.

“We decided to unravel the mystery of why this is so A transparent, invisible worm that feeds at night evolved and gained huge eyes. So, the first goal was to answer the question of whether big eyes give the worm good vision,” says marine biologist Michael Bock of Lund University in Sweden.

The analyzes examined the eyesight of three species of sea worms The Mediterranean Sea, i.e. Candida turea, Naiades cantrainii and Vanadis cf. Formosa. Specialized optical, morphological and electrophysiological experiments were performed on the eyes of these animals. It turns out that the creatures are from the Alciopidae family, which includes the three aforementioned species. They are able to see small and distant objects and can track their movement.

Previously, only vertebrates, arthropods and cephalopods were known to have the ability to see objects. Experts believe their discoveries are unusual. These results suggest that most polychaetes have only rudimentary, low-resolution vision Directional light reception – It only detects light and the direction it is coming from.

As neuroscientist and marine biologist Anders Jarm of the University of Copenhagen says: “This is the first time such advanced and detailed imaging has been demonstrated outside these groups. In fact, our research has shown that The worm has excellent eyesight. Its eyesight is on par with that of a mouse or rat, although it is a comparatively simple creature with a small brain.

Although the mystery has been unraveled, scientists are still wondering why this creature needed such advanced eyesight. However, research conducted about 50 years ago may offer a solution. They revealed it The eyes of these worms are best at detecting ultraviolet wavelengths. This indicates that nightlife at the bottom of the sea has a unique secret that specialists have not yet discovered.

“We have a theory that they are the same The worms are bioluminescent and communicate with each other using light. If you use regular blue or green light as bioluminescence, you also risk attracting predators. But if the worm used ultraviolet light instead, it would remain invisible to animals other than those of its own species. “So, our hypothesis is that they evolved acute ultraviolet vision in order to have a secret language related to reproduction.”

“It's also possible that they're looking for prey's UV bioluminescence. But regardless, this makes things really interesting because UV bioluminescence hasn't been observed in any other animal yet. So we hope so,” he adds. We will be able to provide this as a first example“.

The results of the research were published in a scientific journal Current biology.

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