Eyes are one of the most fascinating organs animals ever evolved. We’ve put together a list of some of the most interesting and unusual animal eyes out there. Which one is your favourite?
1. Mantis shrimp
The brilliantly-coloured mantis shrimp is a stunningly beautiful dealer of death. Depending on the species, it has either developed punching or stabbing claws that move so fast they literally break the sound barrier (and can even make the water around them boil). But by far the most incredible thing about mantis shrimps is their vision. Their eyes are the most complex eyes of any animal known on earth and can see in ultraviolet, infrared and polarized light. They also have perfect depth perception.
2. Giant guitarfish
Guitarfish are a type of ray and get their name from their unique shape. Unlike us, they never developed eyelids to protect their eyes. Instead, they have a specially-developed and very strong muscle that attaches to the back of their eyeball. Using this muscle, they can completely retract their eyeball inside their head, protecting it from sand and other debris on the ocean floor.
Most of us have heard that chameleons can move their eyes completely independently from each other. Scientists have discovered this isn’t quite true but these little lizards still have some of the coolest eyes out there. Able to swivel completely in their sockets, their eyes give them a complete 360-degree view of the world around them.
Though goats may not seem very interesting at a basic level, they have some of the weirdest looking eyes out there. Their rectangular pupils (which actually show up in quite a few grazing animals) allow them to have a very wide field of view, somewhere between 320 and 240 degrees. This gives them great peripheral vision so they can see predators coming from a long ways off. The pupils also give them very good night vision.
5. Leaf-tailed geckos
Another really weird-looking animal, leaf-tailed geckos have some very unique eyes. With vertical pupils made up of a bunch of small pinhole-like openings, they can see around 350 times better than humans, especially at night. Also, like a lot of lizards, they do that weird thing where they lick their eyes clean.