Here’s Looking at You, Kid

I’m grew up in the suburbs, and nobody I knew had any goats, or any other farm animals, for that matter. My first close up look at a goat came when I was 19. When I looked the critter in the eye, I freaked out. They had horizontal pupils! Who knew? Were they aliens? Devil creatures? Whatever they were, they sure looked strange.

It turns out I’m not the only one who thinks so. The YouTube video below posted by Tech Insider explains why goats’ eyes look the way they do. The answer: survival. Enlongated pupils give goats a wide range of view so they can be on the lookout for predators.

Lately, I’ve been curious about creatures whose eyes are very different than ours. On a recent visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., I spotted some mantis shrimp that have wild looking peepers. According to the Aquarium, these crazy crustaceans have more color receptors than us in their eyes, allowing them to see their rich underwater environment in vivid detail. Their eyes are divided into three bands that allow for depth perception from just one of their eyeballs, which are independently controllable. See for yourself in the video below.

A 2015 study led by Martin Banks, a professor of optometry at the University of Berkeley in California, in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Durham University, presents a new hypothesis as to why pupils are shaped and oriented the way they are. See the video below to learn more about the study and to watch a video that explains why horses and sheep have horizontally elongated pupils.

To quote Humphrey Bogart, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”