Did eyesight really touch off Cambrian explosion?
|October 3, 2011||Posted by News under Cambrian explosion, News|
From “Jellyfish hunt as effectively as finned fish (New York Times September 30, 2011), we learn:
For animals that drift through the sea without the benefit of eyesight, jellyfish have managed to survive remarkably well. In fact, in areas where overfishing and habitat destruction have reduced fish populations, jellyfish are now becoming the dominant predators.
So eyesight was not an overwhelming advantage for marine predators?* What does that say about Cambrian explosion theories that depend on the supposed advantage of eyesight, in touching off an evolution war?
“To our surprise, jellyfish were as good predators as visually predating fish in spite of being slow and blind, because they play an entirely different hydromechanical trick,” he said in an e-mail.
Dr. Acuña and his colleagues discovered that jellyfish were also efficient eaters. They may not consume their prey as quickly as the fish they compete with, but jellyfish effectively funnel the energy they obtain from their food into body growth. And they do not need to eat as much food, allowing them to endure months of starvation if necessary.
Well, as the polar bear would say, enduring starvation always comes in handy.
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* Maybe not for marine predators. But some UD News staff remember driving despondent seniors to eye clinics – them saying, “Nothing works!” Modern methods often do work, even for very old people. No one should just give up on their eyesight.