Sunday, June 16, 2013

Big @$$ Eyes

I recently acquired a laptop for my graduation gift, and have been enjoying the crazy pictures that you can take on the Photo Booth!  I think my favorite way to mess with the pictures is by making our eyes ENORMOUS!  Incidentally, some of my favorite animals are those with gigantic eyes, and after coming to this realization, I sensed a post in the making!  Today, we're just going to take a look at a few of my favorites, but you can be sure that we'll be taking a look at other big-eyed creatures in the future!

The spookfish is an absolutely terrifying fish.  Do I need to say anything more?  I suppose I'll say a little more.  The spookfish is the only vertebrate animal known to ever have evolved mirrors instead of lenses in its eyes.  OK, that's enough, it's really starting to creep me out now.  Time we moved on.

Next we have another oceanic animal: the giant squid!  The record for the largest eyes in the animal kingdom is held by this animal, at around 10 inches in diameter: the size of a dinner plate!  WHAT THE HECK!  These animals live at extreme depths and, and where other animals would fail to see spectacularly, the giant squid is able to live and see quite comfortably!

The only extinct animal that I have included in this post, Opthalmosaurus was literally named after its enormous eyes: its name means "eye lizard" in Greek!  Although it looks a heck of a lot like a dolphin, Opthalmosaurus was a type of marine reptile called an ichthyosaur that swam the oceans during the Jurassic Period.  A bony ring called the scleral ring in the eye of the animal helped to keep the eye from collapsing under the intense pressure of the ocean!

Let's move out of the ocean now, and into the trees: meet the tarsier!  The tarsier is a terrifying little primate that is native to southeast Asia and HOLY CRAP.  I JUST LOOKED UP A PICTURE OF THE SIZE OF THE TARSIERS EYES AND LOOK.  AT THAT PICTURE.  BELOW.


That is really, terribly creepy.  My goodness.  I....I don't even know what to say.  Let's move on now.

Another arboreal primate, the aye-aye is one of my favorite animals of all time!  Native to Madagascar, this lemur is nocturnal (of course, given the eyes), and as you can see in the picture below, definitely doesn't like having its picture taken with the flash!

Flying above the ocean and the trees are the birds, and the creepiest birds with the biggest eyes are the owls.  The owls and the tarsier both share something in common: their eyes are so big in comparison to their head that their eyes are unable to move in their sockets!  That's why both of these animals have such an enormous range of motion in their neck: to look to either side, they have to move their entire head around!

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