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Warrant, E. J., & Johnsen, S. (2013). Vision and the light environment. Curr Biol, 23(22), R990–4.
Abstract: Almost all animals, no matter how humble, possess eyes. Only those that live in total darkness, such as in a pitch-dark cave, may lack eyes entirely. Even at tremendous depths in the ocean â where the only lights that are ever seen are rare and fitful sparks of bioluminescence â most animals have eyes, and often surprisingly well-developed eyes. And despite their diversity (there are currently ten generally recognised optical types) all eyes have evolved in response to the remarkably varied light environments that are present in the habitats where animals live. Variations in the intensity of light, as well as in its direction, colour and dominant planes of polarisation, have all had dramatic effects on visual evolution. In the terrestrial habitats where we ourselves have most recently evolved, the light environment can vary quite markedly from day to night and from one location to another. In aquatic habitats, this variation can be orders of magnitude greater. Even though the ecologies and life histories of animals have played a major role in visual evolution, it is arguably the physical limitations imposed on photodetection by a given habitat and its light environment that have defined the basic selective pressures that have driven the evolution of eyes.