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Retinal receptors in rodents maximally sensitive to ultraviolet light


HIGH sensitivity to near-ultraviolet light is a fundamental feature of vision in many invertebrates1,2. Among vertebrates there are some amphibians, birds and fishes that are also sensitive to near-ultraviolet wavelengths3–6. This sensitivity can be achieved through a class of cone photoreceptor containing an ultraviolet-sensitive pigment7–9. Although these receptors were thought not to exist in the eyes of mammals, we now report that some rodents have a retinal mechanism that is maximally sensitive to ultraviolet light.

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Jacobs, G., Neitz, J. & Deegan, J. Retinal receptors in rodents maximally sensitive to ultraviolet light. Nature 353, 655–656 (1991).

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