Friday, 23 January 2015

Amazing Shrimp Design Defies Evolution

Shrimps come in an amazing variety of shapes and colours. The armed nylon shrimp (Heterocarpus ensifer) looks like this. Image courtesy of NOAA.

Joel Kontinen

Reporting on research published in the journal Current Biology, a brief Science Shot text illustrating the discovery of a deep-sea shrimp says:

“In the deep sea, where light is dim and blue, animals with bigger eyes see better—but bigger eyes are more conspicuous to predators. In response, the small (10 mm to 17 mm), transparent crustacean Paraphronima gracilis has evolved a unique eye structure.”

Leaving aside the evo-speak and storytelling, this sounds like amazing design. The writer should perhaps have asked herself whether animals are capable of evolving anything at all. Most people would know that innovations only come through intelligence.

The researchers found that the shrimp had “compound eyes … each … composed of a single row of 12 distinct red retinas… The researchers hypothesize that each retina captures an image that is transmitted to the crustacean’s brain, which integrates the 12 images to increase brightness and contrast sensitivity, adapting to changing light levels.”

The wonders we see (or learn about) in the animal kingdom point to the Creator, whose handiwork is obvious and very visible in nature – for all who have eyes to see.


Callier, Viviane. 2015. Deep-sea shrimp’s eyes have 12 retinas. ScienceShot (15 January).