Eyes. Interesting Facts about Eyes and Vision.

Giraffe and Vision.

athis is how giraffes drink waterGiraffe is a predator – an animal that hunts other animals. Long, long ago, it was thought to be a cross between a camel and a leopard.

Giraffes are most vulnerable to predators when they are taking a drink at a watering hole. They have to spread their legs wide to lower their necks.

The fact that a giraffe has perhaps the keenest vision of any African big game animal gives it, together with its height, the greatest range of vision of any terrestrial creature.

The giraffe has the largest eyes among land mammals. Since its eyes are set at the sides of a head that rises five meters above the ground, the giraffe has a very large field of vision. It is keenly aware of moving objects in its visual field. In viewing the giraffe from afar, you have the impression of a lofty creature sensitive to the happenings within its broad horizon.

aGiraffes sleep only five to 30 minutes every dayGiraffes sleep only five to 30 minutes every day.

Usually they stand up to sleep. They only lie down if another giraffe can stand watch.

These tall animals need a lot of food to keep them going. They eat up to 75 pounds of leaves every day.

aGiraffes have long lush eyelashes to keep sand out of their eyesGiraffes have long, lush eyelashes to keep sand out of their eyes. Giraffes have long eyelashes because it also helps them to keep little fragments of wood falling into their eyes as they grab the leaves of the tree or bush.

Also, female giraffes flirt by fluttering their eyelashes at the male giraffe they like.

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Frog Eyes. Why their eyes bulge out

Frogs are well-known for their big protruding eyes.
a frog eyeThis gives frogs 360-degree vision. But few people know why their eyes bulge out.

Frogs can protrude their eyes to help them see above the surface while they are underwater even while the rest of the frog is submerged.

When they close their eyes, they pull them back, where they are covered by a top opaque eyelid and two eyelids made of thin, translucent membrane.

Besides their functionality, frogs’ eyes also come in a wide variety of colors (green, brown, red, bronze, gold, silver) and shapes (round, horizontal for day vision, vertical like a cat’s for night vision, even star-shaped and heart-shaped).

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Thirsty Butterflies And Bees Find Precious Nutrients In Crocodile Tears

A Butterfly and a solitary bee sip tears from the eyes of spectacled caiman on Costa Ricas Puerto Viejo River. Credit - Carlos de la RosaThe butterfly and the bee were most likely seeking scarce minerals and an extra boost of protein. They found the precious nutrients in the tears of a spectacled caiman in north-eastern Costa Rica. The insects fluttered about the corners of its eyes.

But then the question becomes, what’s going on in here? Why are these insects tapping into this resource?

Though bountiful in the ocean, salt is often a rare and valuable resource on land, especially for vegetarians. It is not uncommon to see butterflies sipping mineral-laden water from mud puddles. When minerals are rare in the soil, animals sometimes gather salt and other rare minerals and proteins from sweat, tears, urine, and even blood.

Ecologists have seen butterflies and moths in the Amazon feeding on the tears of turtles and a few caimans. Tear-drinking behaviour in bees had only recently been observed by biologists. There was a report of a solitary bee sipping the tears of a yellow-spotted river turtle in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park. But how common is this behaviour?

The phenomenon may not be as rare as biologists had assumed—just hard to witness.

There is a detailed study of bees drinking human tears in Thailand. This experience reminds us that the world still has many surprises for ecologists.

Article Source: Ecological Society of America, Ecologist Carlos de la Rosa, 2 May 2014

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You will not believe your eyes: Praying Mantises wear 3D glasses

Praying Mantises wear 3D glassesResearchers at the University of Newcastle in the UK are exploring the computational abilities of praying mantis eyes by having the insects wear teeny tiny 3D glasses.

They’re not wearing these glasses to be stylish.

Praying mantises are the only invertebrate known to have 3D vision. By studying 3D vision in an invertebrate and comparing it to what they know about 3D vision, researchers hope to gain a deeper understanding of how 3D vision evolved.

Despite their minute brains, mantises are sophisticated visual hunters which can capture prey with terrifying efficiency.

To help understand how the insects evolved 3D vision, the researchers are attaching tiny 3D glasses to their faces with beeswax. The mantises are then placed in front of computer-generated images displayed on monitors. By doing this, the researchers trick the insects into misjudging depth — the same way human brains are tricked when watching a 3D movie — revealing similarities or differences between the way mantises and humans process 3D information.

These readings will help model neural algorithms to be used in new 3D technologies, such as 3D recognition and depth perception in computer vision and robotics.

Article Source: cnet.com.au

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How Snakes Boost Vision by Controlling Blood Flow

How Snakes Boost VisionSnakes have infamously poor eyesight, which is why they resort to sticking out their tongues all the time to get a sense of their surroundings.

But the creatures may have a way to improve their vision in a pinch.

When a snake feels threatened, it controls the blood flow to its eyes to ensure that its sight is unobstructed, a new study found.

All snakes and many other reptiles don’t have eyelids but rather a transparent scale called a spectacle that covers and protects the eye.

Article Source: livescience.com

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How blinkers affect horses in racing

The amazing vision of a horse is astounding. Their eyes may at times operate together, i.e., as a binocular unit, or at other times they may perform independently, i.e., monocular. In the binocular mode, when the horse’s head is held high it may focus on distant objects or with its head held vertical it may focus on objects near its feet.

How blinkers effect horses in racingIn the monocular mode each eye becomes independent of the other and together may actually see a 285-degree total circumference around them and when you include the 65-percent binocular vision radius a horse can visually almost take everything around it excluding a bit more than its hind quarters and a small spot right in front of its face (almost 350 degrees).

That’s not to say equine eyesight doesn’t have its flaws – it does. Although a horse is not colour blind it only possesses two-colour, or di-chromatic vision, whereas humans have three-colour, or tri-chromatic vision. It has been reported that the average horse has 20/60 vision rather than 20/20 as in humans. Still in all, what a horse can take in visually is amazing.

But sometimes, what a racehorse can see may work against its performance in a race. That’s where blinkers come in and may need to be applied to keep it from running sideways; to keep it from seeing a jockey on another horse applying a whip or to keep it from panicking when seeing horses coming up close behind it.

Blinkers have been around for many decades and have become so commonplace most fans pay no attention to them. Many quarter horses wear them, as the trainer wants the horse to focus straight down the track.

Blinkers, a nylon hood with plastic cups behind each eye (usually, but not always – some may cover only one eye [an extension cup]), come in varying sizes. French Cups afford a horse a wide view of what lies in their forward field of vision without the lateral and rear distractions. The slimmest cups are called cheaters and are worn by horses that may only need a minor correction, not a major adjustment. There are other styles of blinkers, such as a cheater-style cheek piece, which is attached to the bridle and keeps the horse from trying to look at its rider or being distracted by what’s behind it.

Choosing whether to use blinkers or nor and just what style of negated vision application to apply comes down to the skill set of the trainer.

It depends on how the horse trains. If it looks around a lot or is intimidated by other horses, you put them on. If it watches the headman in the starting gate you put them on. Screen blinkers may keep a horse from seeing shadows. Every horse is different. Some don’t need them; they go ahead and tend to business. You put them on a racehorse that needs blinkers so it gets the best performance possible – even a horse having its first start. Some horses you can take the blinkers off after a few starts.

That’s an important part of training, knowing when to use them and when not to.

Article Source: ruidosonews.com

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Extraordinary Vision in Mantis Shrimp

Of all the energy from the sun, our eyes detect just a narrow band of three wavelengths – red, green and blue.

Bees can see in ultraviolet as well, and navigate using polarized light, which to us is just glare to filter out with our sunglasses.

Mantis Shrimp 1But there’s one animal that’s got all that and more, that can see a world completely invisible to us,
detecting properties of light impossible for humans to comprehend.

It’s got the most complex eyes on the planet, and it’s called a mantis shrimp, colorful marine creatures that possess deadly weapons and complex vision.

Mantis shrimp are related to crabs and lobsters. They come in a gorgeous array of colors. Mantis shrimp boast an especially unusual vision system. It is far more complicated than in humans and other animals.
Their stalked eyes move independently, each scanning the world in 3D.

Mantis Shrimp eyeWhere we see three colours in the spectrum, mantis shrimps see twelve, their eyes detecting wavelengths that stretch from the infra-red to the ultra-violet. It can also distinguish much better between shades of visible light than us!

And then there’s their talent for 3D vision, because each eye is able to distinguish between the different types of polarized light.

So when you go to the cinema these days and look at a 3D movie, you’re actually using glasses that have left and right circular polarizing filters in front of them. You’re making yourself into a mantis shrimp.
But for the mantis shrimp itself, it’s more than home entertainment. Having fabulous vision is all about finding someone to breed with and something to eat.

Article Source: science.tumblr.com

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