Several aspects of vision in juvenile and adult Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) are examined, with special reference to retinal anatomy such as oil droplet topography, transmission electron microscopy of photoreceptors, spectral transmission measurements of the ocular media (cornea, lens, and vitreous humor), and measurements of focal length and optical sensitivity. A detailed study of the distribution of the different color classes of oil droplets shows that all oil droplets are found in high concentrations (>1000 mm−2) in the central/temporal parts of the retina. Red oil droplets were the largest, followed by yellow and clear. Oil droplet size varied in different parts of the retina. On average, red oil droplets were found in fewer numbers compared to yellow and clear oil droplets. Two types of clear oil droplets were identified: those that fluoresced under UV illumination and those that did not. We found that the majority (78.5%) of colorless oil droplets fluoresced when viewed under UV light. Spectral transmission measurements of the ocular media show that wavelengths to approximately 325 nm are transmitted. This may suggest ultraviolet (UV) vision in Green Turtles. The optical sensitivity of the Green Turtle eye was relatively low, suggesting an adaptation to high light intensities commonly experienced by this species.
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Vol. 2007 • No. 1