Evolution of the vertebrate eye: Opsins, photoreceptors, retina and eye cup

Trevor D. Lamb, Shaun P. Collin, Edward N Pugh Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

309 Scopus citations


Charles Darwin appreciated the conceptual difficulty in accepting that an organ as wonderful as the vertebrate eye could have evolved through natural selection. He reasoned that if appropriate gradations could be found that were useful to the animal and were inherited, then the apparent difficulty would be overcome. Here, we review a wide range of findings that capture glimpses of the gradations that appear to have occurred during eye evolution, and provide a scenario for the unseen steps that have led to the emergence of the vertebrate eye.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-976
Number of pages17
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cell Biology


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