Research Publication
Lars Schmitz
SMODLAKA, H., KHAMAS, W.A., PALMER, L., LUI, B., BOROVAC, J.A., COHN, B.A. Ψ, & L. SCHMITZ(2016). Eye histology and ganglion cell topography of the Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris). The Anatomical Record.DOI:10.1002/ar.23342 (published online before print) Ψ undergraduate student
Northern elephant seals are one of the deepest diving marine mammals. Their diving trips regularly bring them into the very dark parts of the deep ocean, where down-welling sunlight is scarce or completely absent. Hrvoje Smodlaka (Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona) and his colleagues, among them former Pitzer student Brian Cohn and Assistant Professor of Biology Lars Schmitz explored how the eyes of Northern elephant seals are matched to the requirements of vision in such dim environments. In a study recently published in The Anatomical Record, the team reports that Northern elephant seals have very light sensitive eyes, enabled by specializations in the optical and retinal parts of the eye. The results from this study are expected to improve our understanding of the evolutionary processes that lead to the diversity of structures seen in extreme divers.


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