I’m so hangry, I’m BLIND with rage!
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Spiders are known for their super sharp vision. Different factors can affect this ability. What about diet and nutrition?
Shubham Rathore from University of Cincinnati and team investigated.
They had two groups of jumping spiders. One was fed normal portions of flies and the other was given half.
They imaged their TEENY TINY eyes and found underfed spiders LOST cells called photoreceptors. These cells convert light into signals that the brain can understand. This conversion uses a lot of energy and without proper nutrition, the cells fail and deteriorate. So the underfed spiders were much smaller AND experienced significant vision loss.
We experience similar changes with age-related vision loss known as macular degeneration. Scientists believe spider studies can help us understand and treat age-related vision loss in humans.
How in-SIGHT-ful! Now, I’m getting a vision… of an extra large deep dish pizza. With… uh… sausage… for my eyes…
Rathore, S., Goté, J. T., Brafford, M., Morehouse, N. I., Buschbeck, E. K., & Stowasser, A. (2023). Nutrition-induced macular-degeneration-like photoreceptor damage in jumping spider eyes. Vision Research, 206, 108185. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2023.108185