1. Data are presented for the dark adaptation of four species of animals. They show that during dark adaptation the reaction time of an animal to light of constant intensity decreases at first rapidly, then slowly, until it reaches a constant minimum.
2. On the assumption that at all stages of adaptation a given response to light involves a constant photochemical effect, it is possible to describe the progress of dark adaptation by the equation of a bimolecular reaction. This supposes, therefore, that dark adaptation represents the accumulation within the sense cells of a photosensitive material formed by the chemical combination of two other substances.
3. The chemical nature of the process is further borne out by the fact that the speed of dark adaptation is affected by the temperature. The velocity constant of the bimolecular process describing dark adaptation bears in Mya a relation to the temperature such that the Arrhenius equation expresses it with considerable exactness when µ = 17,400.
4. A chemical mechanism is suggested which can account not only for the data of dark adaptation here presented, but for many other properties of the photosensory process which have already been investigated in these animals. This assumes the existence of a coupled photochemical reaction of which the secondary, "dark" reaction is catalyzed by the products of the primary photochemical reaction proper. This primary photochemical reaction itself is reversible in that its main products combine to form again the photosensitive material, whose concentration controls the behavior of the system during dark adaptation.