Eye Sight

Eye position:

The eyes of different animals are positioned according to need. In the case of predators like the tiger the eyes are directed forwards so they can easily keep track of prey.

Prey animals have eyes on each side of the head; this widens their field of vision and enables them to watch better for predators.

Some animals have increased their visual abilities by having their eyes further removed from their bodies, as in the case of hammerhead sharks, snails, or hermit crabs.

Eye colour at night:

Contrary to popular belief, the eyes of the tiger do not always burn red at night. Under illumination, and depending upon the angle of reflection, the reflected light may appear anything from a reddish-yellow to a bluish-green.

In the case of the blue-eyed white tiger, the reflection is always a vivid blue, irrespective of the angle.

Tapetum Lucidum:

Like your average house cat tigers have an adaptation that reflects any light back to the retina. This means the night vision of a tiger is quite remarkable and six times better than that of a human.

Called the tapetum lucidum (translation: "bright carpet") this reflective layer is located at the back of the eye.

Any light not absorbed by the rods and cones is mirrored back to these eye parts a second time; this allows more light to be absorbed. This, along with a high number of rods, gives many animals the ability to see in very low-light conditions. It does not mean that cats can see any better in total darkness than humans can. There must be a degree of light for this adaptation to work.

 (Continued Page 3) 

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Photography With Thanks To Hans Stenström (Photo 1)
Tiger Touch (Photo 2)

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