Vision is a distinctly integral component of our daily lives. It’s been said that the eyes are the very window to the soul. Through them, humans are able to communicate, process critical information, enjoy creation, be perceptibly aware of our environment, and retain vivid memories. We rely on eyesight every second of every day, even in our dreams.
Despite our dependence on our vision, these organs receive a lack of notable recognition. Scientists have thoroughly studied the eyes and how they work more than any of the other five senses—and not just within humanity. The variance of eye shape, size, and dimension is far, wide, and incredibly sophisticated within Animalia. Let’s use our own sight to closely examine the coolest eyes in the animal kingdom.
Under the Sea: Mantis Shrimp
Do you know that humans have three color receptors? The mantis shrimp has every living creature beat. Mantis shrimp are the carousal of cool with up to 16 color receptors. Their little eyes are compounded similar to dragonflies to see colors we cannot even perceive, making their eyes the most sophisticated out of any creature in the animal kingdom.
Their complex eye stalks are also able to rotate independently from each other to look in different directions at the same time, and they are the sole animals on the planet that can detect infrared, U.V., and polarized light. Only mantis shrimp have the brilliant ability to see as a satellite does.
Up in the Tree: Tarsiers
Found in the forests of Southeast Asia, tarsiers have some of the coolest eyes in the animal kingdom. Compared to their body size, these small primates have the largest eyes out of all mammals found in the world. Each eye is similar to the volume of their brain. While their eyes are fixed within their skull, they are able to rotate their heads 180 degrees to the left or right. Since they are nocturnal, their large eyes supply the best night vision.
Out in the Field: Goats
Goats are interesting creatures, being of the first animals tamed by humans. As grazing animals, they need impressive vision. This is why their strange eyes are incredibly powerful. The cool thing about these keen mammals’ eyes is their rectangular-shaped pupils. The particular slit-like shape of these pupils provides a more detailed panoramic vision of what’s around them, allowing up to a 420-degree field of vision.
By Our Side: Modern Canines
While humans rely mainly on vision, sight comes second to smell for our canine companions. This doesn’t make their eyesight any less sensational. Domesticated dogs are still crepuscular, which means they are more active at sunrise and sunset. Dogs evolved with this trait to keep up with prey, which allows them to see better in the dimness of the dark. This inherited trait also supplies them with a greater ability to detect motion and shapes.
While many do not own a goat or tarsier, eye care is essential for any modern-day dog owner. Domesticated canines may be the only animals to have super cool K9 goggles designed for them. Interestingly enough, active dogs, working dogs, and those with pre-existing eye conditions can benefit from eye protection just like humans can.