Pakhomov M. V., Zaytsev A. A. Investigation of the long-wavelength threshold of spectral sensitivity in the gray seal Halichoerus grypus (Fabricius, 1791). Marine Biological Journal, 2022, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 46-54. https://doi.org/10.21072/mbj.2022.07.4.04



In marine mammals, the absorption maxima of photopigments have a shift to the shorter-wavelength spectrum area compared to terrestrial mammals; this leads to a shift in the long-wavelength threshold of spectral sensitivity as well. In most publications focused on the investigation of long-wavelength sensitivity of marine mammals, only the absorption maxima of “red-sensitive” photopigments are given, but no data on maximum wavelengths of light emission that animals are able to perceive are provided. Therefore, this work was aimed at studying the long-wavelength thresholds of spectral sensitivity in a typical representative of earless seals – the gray seal Halichoerus grypus (Fabricius, 1791). During the experiment, a group of four gray seals was trained to press one of two buttons if a LED lamp located above it is switched on. In the lamp, there were groups of LEDs emitting monochromatic light in the wavelength range from 600 to 700 nm with a step of 10 nm and a luminous intensity of 0.5 cd. As shown, the lower perception threshold of light emission for the studied gray seals is light emission with a wavelength of 660 nm, and this confirms the data on the short-wavelength shift of the sensitivity peaks of photopigments in marine mammals. During prolonged exposure to extremely low-light conditions typical for the polar night, the long-wavelength perception threshold in the gray seals can increase from 660 to 670–680 nm.


M. V. Pakhomov



A. A. Zaytsev




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