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Did eyesight really touch off Cambrian explosion?

Artic red jellyfish

Artic red jellyfish

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.

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2 Responses to Did eyesight really touch off Cambrian explosion?

  1. “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?”

    So the supporting information for this is a link to an obscure Forum with an entry by some unknown person called Phobos; this entry does contain a link to another site, but this is broken.

    Come on UD News, you must have somebody on the newsroom with better research skills than this surely? Or is this what passes for journalism nowadays in the blogosphere?

    My own research suggests that the “depends” here is far from depends but is just one idea among many.

  2. Bioluminescence in a pre-Cambrian world without any eyes?

    Bioluminescence Jellyfish
    http://www.youtube.com/v/DBrNw.....autoplay=1

    Amazing Bioluminescent/Glowing Deep Sea Creatures
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

    Further note:

    Interestingly, ‘soft-bodied’ Jellyfish and Sponges appeared suddenly in the fossil record a few ten million years before the Cambrian Explosion, and have remained virtually unchanged since they first appeared in the fossil record. Moreover, contrary to evolutionary thinking, Jellyfish and Sponges appear to have essential purpose in preparing the ecosystem for the Cambrian Explosion that was to follow.

    Marine animals cause a stir – July 2009
    Excerpt: Kakani Katija and John Dabiri used field measurements of jellyfish swimming in a remote island lake, combined with a new theoretical model, to demonstrate that the contribution of living organisms to ocean mixing via this mechanism is substantial — of the same order of magnitude as winds and tides. (Winds and tides, due to their prevention of stagnation, are known to be essential for life on earth.)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....30-08.html

    Sponges Determine Coral Reef’s Nutrient Cycle
    Excerpt: Sponges, which have worldwide distribution in the oceans, filter water. They take up planktonic particles such as bacteria and excrete inorganic nutrients. In turn, these nutrients can facilitate the growth of marine plants and other organisms. Sponges filter water at a phenomenal rate: if the seawater were to remain stationary, the sponges would have completely pumped it away within five minutes,,,, these organisms play a key role in the marine nutrient cycle due to their incredible capacity to convert enormous quantities of organic plankton into inorganic material (nutrients).
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....085649.htm

    Fossils of all types of sponges (and Jellyfish) alive today have been found virtually unchanged in rocks dated from 635 to 580 million years ago. Moreover, sponges with photosynthesizing endosymbionts produce up to three times more oxygen than they consume, as well as more organic matter than they consume (Wikipedia).

    Barrel and Chimney Sponges Filtering Water – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7E1rq7zHLc

    Verse and Music

    Psalm 148:7
    Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

    “When God Made You” – Newsong & Natalie Grant
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyPgHjICcsU

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