Best Vision Zones in the Retinae of Some Cetaceans

  • Alla Mass
  • Alexander Supin
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 196)


Organization of the visual system in Cetacea still remains unclear in many respects. Of special interest are data on ganglion cell distribution in the retina. It is related closely with visual acuity (Van Buren, 1963; Frisen and Frisen, 1976).


Visual Acuity Ganglion Cell Bottlenose Dolphin Harbor Porpoise Density Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Caldwell M. C., Caldwell D. K. and Evans W. E., 1966, Sound and behavior of captive Amazon fresh water dolphins, Inia geoffrensis. Los Ang. Mus.Nat.Hist. Contrib.Sci. 108: 1–24.Google Scholar
  2. Dawson W. W., 1980, The Cetacean eye. In: “Cetacean behavior: Mechanisms and functions”, L. M. Herman (ed.), John Wiley & Sons, N.Y. 53–100.Google Scholar
  3. Dawson W. W., 1987, The ocular fundus of two Cetaceans, Marine Mammal Science, 3: 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dral A. D. G., 1972, Aquatic and aerial vision in the bottlenosed dolphin, Neth.J.Sea Res. 5: 510–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dral A. D. G., 1974, Problems of image-focusing and astigmatism in Cetacea — a state of affairs, J.Anat. Mamm. 2: 22–28.Google Scholar
  6. Dral A. D. G., 1975, Some quantitative aspects of the retina of Tursiops truncatus, Aquatic Mammals 2: 28–31.Google Scholar
  7. Dral A. D. G., 1977, On the retinal anatomy of Cetacea (mainly Tursiops truncatus), in: “Functional Anatomy of Marine Mammals”, R. J. Harrison (ed.), Acad. Press, Lond. III, 81–134.Google Scholar
  8. Dral A. D. G., 1981, Ophthalmoscopical observations on the Amazon dolphin, Inia geoffrensis, Aquatic mammals 8: 40.Google Scholar
  9. Dral A. D. G., 1983, The retinal ganglion cells of Delphinus delphis and their distribution, Aquatic mammals 10: 57–68.Google Scholar
  10. Frisen L. and Frisen M., 1976, A simple relationship between the probability distribution of visual acuity and density of retinal output channels, Acta ophtalm. 54: 437–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gao A. and Zhou K., 1987, On the retinal ganqlion cells of Neophocaena and Lipotes, Acta Zool. Sin., 33: 316–322.Google Scholar
  12. Herman L. M., Peacock M. F., Yunker M. P and Madsen C. J., 1975, Bottle-nosed dolphin: double slit pupil yields equivalent aerial and underwater diurnal acuity, Science 189: 650–652.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hosokawa H., 1951, On the extrinsic eye muscles of the whale with special remarks upon the innervation and function of the musculus retractor bulbi. Sei.Rep.Whales Res.Inst., Tokyo 6: 1–31.Google Scholar
  14. Hughes A., 1975, A quantitative analysis of the cat retinal ganglion cell topography. J.Comp. Neurol. 163: 107–128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hughes A., 1977, The topography of vision in mammals of contrasting life style: Comparative optics and retinal organization. In: “Handbook of Sensory Physiology: The Visual System in Vertebrates”, F. Crescitelli (ed.), 613–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jacobs M. S. and Jensen A. V., 1964, Gross aspects of the brain and a fiber analysis of central nerves in the great whale, J.comp.Neurol. 123: 55–65.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jansen J. and Jansen J. K. S., 1969, The nervous system of Cetacea. In: “The Biology of Marine Mammals”, H. T. Andersen (ed.), Acad.Press, N.Y., 175–252.Google Scholar
  18. Kellogg W. N. and Rice C. E., 1963, Visual discrimination in a bottlenosed porpoise, Psychol. Rec., 13: 483–498.Google Scholar
  19. Kinne O., 1975, Orientation in space: Animals: mammals. In: “Marine Ecology”, O. Kinne (ed.), 2, 702–852.Google Scholar
  20. Landau D. and Dawson W. W., 1970, The histology of retinae from the pinnipedia, Vision Res. 10: 691–702.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Langworthy O. R., 1931, Factors determining the differentiation of the cerebral cortex in sea-living mammals (the Cetacea). A study of the brain of the porpoise, Tursiops truncatus. Brain 54: 225–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li J. F., 1983, Retina of river dolphin Lipotes vexillifer, Sci. Sin. 26: 145–150.Google Scholar
  23. Madsen C. J. and Herman L. M., 1980, Social and ecological correlates of cetacean vision and visual appearance. In: “Cetacean Behavior: Mechanisms and Function”, L.M. Herman (ed.), Wiley Interscience, N.Y. 101–147.Google Scholar
  24. Mass A. M., 1987, Topographic organization of the ganglion layer in the retina of a northern fur seal, Callorhinus ursinus (in Russ.), Dokl.Akad.Nauk SSSR, 294: 1469–1472.Google Scholar
  25. Mass A, M. and Supin A. Ya., 1986, Topographic distribution of sizes and density of ganglion cells in the retina of a porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, Aquatic Mammals 12: 95–102.Google Scholar
  26. Mass A. M. and Supin A. Ya., 1989, Distribution of ganglion cells in the retina of an Amazon river dolphin, Inia geoffrensis, Aquatic mammals, 15: 49–56.Google Scholar
  27. Matthissen L., 1983, Über den physicalisch-optischen Bauder Augen von Knoelwal (Megaptera boops, Fabr.) und Finnwal (Balaenoptera musculus, comp). Z. vergl. Augenh eilk, 7: 77–101.Google Scholar
  28. Peers B. A., 1971, Retinal histology of the Atlantic Bottlenosed dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821). Thesis Univ. of Guelph.Google Scholar
  29. Pepper R. L. and Simmons J. V., 1973, In air visual acuity of the bottlenose dolphin, Exp.Neurol. 41: 371–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Perry V. H. and Cowey A., 1985, The ganglion cell and cone distribution in the monkey’s retina: implications for central magnification factor, Vision Res. 25: 1795–1810.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Perry V. H., Oehler R. and Cowey A., 1984, Retinal ganglion cells that project to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus in the macaque monkey, Neuroscience, 12: 1101–1123.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Phillips J. and McCain G., 1964, Black-white visual discrimination in the Amazon porpoise Inia geoffrensis, Amer. Psychologist, 19: 503.Google Scholar
  33. Pilleri G., 1977, The eye of Pontoporia blainvillei and Inia boliviensis and some remarks on the problem of regressive evolution of eye in Platanistoidea. Invest.on Cetacea, 8: 149–159.Google Scholar
  34. Pilleri G., Gihr M. and Kraus C., 1980, Play behaviour in the Indus and Orinoco dolphin (Platanista indi and Inia geoffrensis). Invest.on Cetacea, 9: 58–108.Google Scholar
  35. Provis J. M., 1979, The distribution and size of ganglion cells in the retina of the pigmented rabbit: a quantitative analysis, J.comp. Neurol., 185: 121–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rivamonte A., 1976, Eye model to account for comparable aerial and underwater acuities of the bottlenose dolphin. Neth.J.Sea Res., 10: 491–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rolls E. T. and Cowey A., 1970, Topography of the retina and striate cortex and its relationship to visual activity in rhesus monkeys and squirrel monkeys, Exp.Brain Res., 10: 298–310.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shkolnik-Jarros E. G. and Kalinina A. V., 1986, “Neurons of a retina” (in Russ.), Nauka, Moscow.Google Scholar
  39. Slyper E. J., 1962, “Whales”, Hutchinson, London.Google Scholar
  40. Spong P. and White D., 1971, Visual acuity and discrimination learning in the dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens). Exp. Neurol. 32: 431–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stone J., 1965, A quantitative analysis of the distribution of ganglion cells in the cat’s retina. J. comp. Neurol., 124: 337–352.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Van Buren K. M., 1963, “The retinal ganglion cell layer”, Charles Thomas, Springfield (III).Google Scholar
  43. Waller G. N. H., 1982, Retinal ultrastructure of the Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), Aquatic mammals, 9: 17–28.Google Scholar
  44. Waller G. N. H., 1984, The ocular anatomy of cetacea: an historical perspective, Invest. of Cetacea, 16: 138–148.Google Scholar
  45. Walls G. L., 1963, “The vertebrate eye”, Hafner, N.Y.Google Scholar
  46. Wassle H. Chun Myung Hoon and Muller F., 1987, Amacrine cells in the ganglion cell layer of the cat retina, J. comp. Neurol., 265: 391–408.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. White D., Cameron N., Spong P. and Bradford J., 1971, Visual acuity in the Killer whale (Orcinus orca), Exp. Neurol., 32: 230–236.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wong R. O. L. and Hughes A., 1987, The morphology, number, and distribution of a large population of confirmed displaced amacrine cells in the adult cat retina, J. comp. Neurol., 255: 159–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alla Mass
    • 1
  • Alexander Supin
    • 1
  1. 1.Severtsov Institute of Evolutionary Morphology and Ecology of AnimalsUSSR Academy of SciencesMoscowUSSR

Personalised recommendations