Eye Shape Determines Friend from Foe


Suffice to say, there are a great many animals in this world that are endlessly fascinating and new to science. We learn more about them everyday, just as we continue learning about ourselves in this harried adventure called life.
Which is why there is a whole field of study that brings science closer to the animals. Today, scientific research has revealed some interesting new findings regarding the animal kingdom.

Have you ever wondered what constraints influence an animal in order to make a friend or foe? Or at least wondered how differentiate the two groups more quickly?


In a study that was published just yesterday in the Science Advances, new research brings to the public a way of determining predator from prey, by way of an animal’s eye shape.
After all there is a noticeable difference between the eye of an crocodile and a sheep’s eye. Each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Especially in the sheep’s case who can see what’s behind them but suffer from bad depth perception. To contrast, crocodiles can see very well underwater with the protective membrane.


According to an article in the New York Times, the study gathered its information from a pool of around 214 animals. In the study, the eye shape of the animals was shown to determine the habits and advantages of each animal.
Such findings include that the horizontal eye seen in horses, sheep, and cows may help to let more light in from the left to right side and see predators from different directions better. This allows the eye to stay parallel to the ground regardless of the head’s inclination.
Whereas the vertical slits we see in cats may help in surprising prey when pouncing. But that hypothesis loses legitimacy when considering tigers or lions (who have circular eye shapes).

But it may be due to the difference in height with regard to other predators with vertical eye shapes that may explain why some larger predators lack the vertical slit. One thing can be said about this study; as one scientist commented, it’s a wonder that no one noticed this earlier and studied the differences in eye shape vs. hunting or living habits.