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Re: Monkey see (colors), Monkey do (was RE: Marsupials see colors)

Quoting "Mickey Rowe;893-2446" <mrowe@lifesci.ucsb.edu>:

Tom (or Dawkins?) is referring only to genetic structure and not to
functionality, then you could say that all mammals are at least
dichromats.  The marine mammals, owl monkeys, and procyonids I
mentioned in a previous post all have genes for two opsins.  It's just
that the S-cone opsin genes have premature stop codons which render
them non-functional.  Just like the opsin genes of humans with severe
forms of color deficiency.

So it's the S-cone opsin that's non-functional in cetaceans and pinnipeds? This seems surprising from an adaptive point of view, considering how much better blue light propagates in water than other colors (consider how, under natural light, blue reef fish look bright, while red ones look black). Or am I missing something?

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan

"Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity."
    --Edwin H. Land