I am an eye, if I am an urchin, says Sam

Biology continues to prove itself weird almost (but not quite) beyond imagining. A press release from the University of Gothenberg, Sweden, quotes scientist Sam Dupont [pictured here, with two eyes] as saying:

“We argue that the entire adult sea urchin can act as a huge compound eye, and that the shadow that is cast by the animal’s opaque skeleton over the light-sensitive cells can give it directional vision,” says Dupont.

Details appear in a newly published study by Dupont and his colleagues:

Unique system of photoreceptors in sea urchin tube feet,”  Esther M Ullrich-Lüter, Sam Dupont, Enrique Arboledac, Harald Hausend, and Maria Ina Arnonec, PNAS 2011/04/26 .