Optics and Evolution of the Compound Eye

  • Dan-Eric Nilsson


During the last 100 years, the number of known optical types of compound eye has grown from one to at least seven. With this increasing knowledge we have learned That there are many ways to construct image-forming optical systems and the similarity of compound eyes of different animals is indeed only superficial The radicallydifferentopticalsystemsfound in theeyes of closelyrelatedgroupsof both insects and crustaceans present a serious problem concerning the evolution of optical mechanisms: some compound eyes form multiple inverted images whereas others form a single erect image. The problem arises from the fact that hypothetical intermediate designs may seem nonfunctional.


Hermit Crab Retinula Cell Crystalline Cone Corneal Lens Lens Cylinder 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan-Eric Nilsson
    • 1
  1. 1.LundSweden

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