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Eye Shapes Of The Animal World Hint At Differences In Our Lifestyles
#1
Take a close look at a house cat's eyes and you'll see pupils that look like vertical slits. But a tiger has round pupils — like humans do. And the eyes of other animals, like goats and horses, have slits that are horizontal.

Scientists have now done the first comprehensive study of these three kinds of pupils. The shape of the animal's pupil, it turns out, is closely related to the animal's size and whether it's a predator or prey.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots...lifestyles

I thought this was very interesting and could be of help when designing xenosophonts or new terragen species.

Ciao,

Terrafamilia
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#2
(08-13-2015, 09:59 AM)terrafamilia Wrote: Take a close look at a house cat's eyes and you'll see pupils that look like vertical slits. But a tiger has round pupils — like humans do. And the eyes of other animals, like goats and horses, have slits that are horizontal.

Scientists have now done the first comprehensive study of these three kinds of pupils. The shape of the animal's pupil, it turns out, is closely related to the animal's size and whether it's a predator or prey.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots...lifestyles

I thought this was very interesting and could be of help when designing xenosophonts or new terragen species.

Though on closer examination this comes across as a 'general rule', to which there are a large number of exceptions. For instance, a chinchilla is a small herbivore and has vertical pupils, and meerkats and all the mongoose relatives I've seen are small carnivores with horizontal pupils, and tarsiers are small and almost entirely predatory but have round pupils.

This must just be the first really big study of the problem. I would be very surprised if it was the first one. I remember coming up with the basic hypothesis myself as a zoology undergrad, after having thought for a while about the pupil shapes for goats and horses versus cats and geckos and foxes versus wolves and tigers and people. Of course it turned out I was hardly the first person to come up with the idea, and as I recall studies up to that time had come up with a 'hmm, maybe' as the answer. Very interesting bit about the horizontal-slit animals rotating their eyes to keep the pupil horizontal as they move their heads up and down, though. Never heard of that one before! If those animals go to that much trouble to keep things oriented that way, then it must be quite important.
Stephen
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