Wayne I. L. Davies

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Variation in the types and spectral characteristics of visual pigments is a common mechanism for the adaptation of the vertebrate visual system to prevailing light conditions. The extent of this diversity in mammals and birds is discussed in detail in this review, alongside an in-depth consideration of the molecular changes involved. In mammals, a nocturnal(More)
The correlation between ontogenetic changes in the spectral absorption characteristics of retinal photoreceptors and expression of visual pigment opsins was investigated in the black bream, Acanthopagrus butcheri. To establish whether the spectral qualities of environmental light affected the complement of visual pigments during ontogeny, comparisons were(More)
Molecular investigation of the origin of colour vision has discovered five visual pigment (opsin) genes, all of which are expressed in an agnathan (jawless) fish, the lamprey Geotria australis. Lampreys are extant representatives of an ancient group of vertebrates whose origins are thought to date back to at least the early Cambrian, approximately 540(More)
Studies in the 1930s demonstrated that birds possess photoreceptors that are located within the hypothalamus and regulate photoperiodic responses to day length. Most recently, photoperiod has been shown to alter the activity of the pars tuberalis to release thyrotrophin, which ultimately drives a reproductive response. Despite these significant findings,(More)
The peak sensitivities (λ(max)) of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) pigments in mammals range from the ultraviolet (UV) (360-400 nm) to the violet (400-450 nm) regions of the spectrum. In most cases, a UV or violet peak is determined by the residue present at site 86, with Phe conferring UV sensitivity (UVS) and either Ser, Tyr or Val causing a shift(More)
season Ophrys orchids emit odors that mimic the scent of receptive female Andrena and the floral morphology adds to the deception. Males find these flowers attractive and attempt to mate with them, transferring orchid pollinia in the process (Simpson and Neff 1981). Like all herbivores, bees show a broad range of specialization. But what makes the bee–plant(More)
In 1942, Walls described the concept of a 'nocturnal bottleneck' in placental mammals, where these species could survive only by avoiding daytime activity during times in which dinosaurs were the dominant taxon. Walls based this concept of a longer episode of nocturnality in early eutherian mammals by comparing the visual systems of reptiles, birds and all(More)
The cartilaginous fishes reside at the base of the gnathostome lineage as the oldest extant group of jawed vertebrates. Recently, the genome of the elephant shark, Callorhinchus milii, a chimaerid holocephalan, has been sequenced and therefore becomes the first cartilaginous fish to be analyzed in this way. The chimaeras have been largely neglected and very(More)
Many fish alter their expressed visual pigments during development. The number of retinal opsins expressed and their type is normally related to the environment in which they live. Eels are known to change the expression of their rod opsins as they mature, but might they also change the expression of their cone opsins? The Rh2 and Sws2 opsin sequences from(More)
Of the four classes of vertebrate cone visual pigments, the shortwave-sensitive SWS1 class shows some of the largest shifts in lambda(max), with values ranging in different species from 390-435 nm in the violet region of the spectrum to < 360 nm in the ultraviolet. Phylogenetic evidence indicates that the ancestral pigment most probably had a lambda(max) in(More)