Ryan and Carlson ’05 Featured With Bats – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Ryan and Carlson ’05 Featured With Bats

Professor Jim Ryan and Alyssa Carlson '05 were featured for their research on bats' eyesight in the July 9 Daily Messenger story “Bats can see — but how well?”. In order to get a closer look at the animals' eyes, Ryan and Carlson removed and dissected the retinas — the part of the eye that receives visual information — from about seven bats and cut them into small pieces. They then stained the tissue and placed it under a scanning electron microscope. They found that the bats with larger eyes — the megachiroptera group — had retinas that featured deep ridges, while the smaller-eyed bats — those of the microchiroptera — had flatter retina. The deep ridges, Ryan said, “allow for greater packing of rods, which should give the bats better vision.”