When it comes to choosing a mate, the eyes have it

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Washington, Dec 14 (ANI): Queen's University researchers have traced the difference in the way males and females of the same species of vertebrate see things-especially to choose their mate.

Shai Sabbah led a team of researchers, who found that male and female cichlid fishes not only see things differently, but detect light in different ways as well.

"It is difficult to say what colour attracts the female the most, but we know that if we manipulate the colour of the fish by changing the light in the environment, the female fish will fail to choose a male of her own species.

"These fish depend on colour vision for their own survival, so discovering differences in the highly dimensional visual systems of males and females is a significant finding," said Sabbah.

The research team also discovered that the fish have five different photoreceptor cones in their eyes, the most ever found in a vertebrate.

These cones enable the eye to detect colours and give cichlids the potential for very good discrimination between colours, which they need in order to choose a correct mate.

The findings were recently published in the journal BMC Biology. (ANI)

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