Unique Animal Eye Characteristics
Animal eye characteristics are as varied as the animal kingdom, and almost no two creature’s eyes are the same. Here are a few unique facts about animal eyes:
- Cats have vertical pupils shaped like ‘slits’ that help them estimate the distance between themselves and their prey.
- Chameleons have eyes that can move independently of one another, which allows them to look in two different directions at once.
- Giant clams have many pinhole-sized eyes. When the clam notices objects moving near, it withdraws into its shell. Most shellfish have limited eyesight. Some varieties of clams can’t even detect flashing lights.
- Crabs have eyes on top of ‘stalks’ above their heads. This gives them an excellent visual field. Like clams, crabs can really only detect differences between light and dark.
- Crocodiles have night vision – just like cats do. Their pupils are also vertical, and shaped like slits. At night, crocodiles have cells in their eyes that retract and allow light to reflect on their retina, which gives them the ability to see in the dark.
- Jumping spiders enjoy a unique advantage over most spiders: they have great vision. They have 8 eyes which allow the spider to see around itself.
- Geckos clean their eyeballs (which look like gold, silver or tan colored gems) by licking them with their tongues.
- Penguins have flat corneas. These help bend light less than our human eyes, which helps them hunt underwater. Penguins can change the shape of their lenses depending on whether they’re on land or in the water.