Essentially, a survey of vision in different animals. Simon begins with the advantages and limitations of the ""Mosaic...

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SIGHT AND SEEING: A World of Light and Color

Essentially, a survey of vision in different animals. Simon begins with the advantages and limitations of the ""Mosaic Images"" of insects' compound eyes, with emphasis on Karl von Frisch's studies of bees' vision and examples of other discoveries made, for example, by blinding dragonfly nymphs. A chapter called ""Seeing Our Way"" brings up the usual camera comparison, pointing out differences as well as similarities, and draws other parallels with TV pictures. There's a chapter on the superior eyesight of birds, who depend much on sight and have a poor sense of smell, and whose vision varies in diurnal and nocturnal, or seed-eating and prey-swooping species; and another on fish and amphibians who exhibit a range of specific peculiarities such as the bifocal eye of the periscope fish. The book ends with a survey of color perception in different species. The dry style is a deterrent: a typical sentence reads, ""The 'double standard' which is the hallmark of amphibian life requires fundamental changes as the animals complete their metamorphosis from the fishlike larval to the terrestrial adult stage."" For serious readers, though, there's a wealth of examples in a context of throughtful generalizations and distinctions.

Pub Date: April 8, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1983