Monday, 6 July 2015

Those Big Beautiful Round Eyes - Are An Attraction For Flies

Flies always seem to hang around an animals eyes

It seems that the pesky Common Housefly isn't quite house bound as the name falsely suggests. If you have come into close contact with wildlife on safari or perhaps photographed them closely, the one thing you will notice most wild animals have in common is the number of flies that seem to inhibit their faces. From Buffalo's and Lions to Giraffe and Elephants, these relentless little insects are not fussy when it comes to installing themselves on the mightiest of hosts. 

So the question is, why are flies attracted to an animals eyes? and the bigger the eyes the more the flies!

Watching the behaviour of the flies closely, you will notice they seem to stay for prolonged periods towards the edges and top of the eye where the Lachrymal Glands are located, and as some of you may have already guessed, this glad is responsible for the secretion of tears. 

Tears are extremely important for the comfort and good health of the eyes. They provide an animals eyes with lubrication, the discharge washes out irritants acquired from the dusty savannah environment and tears also provide valuable salts and sugars that are essential to the eyes healthy functioning. So one thing we can know for sure is, that the eyes of wild animals are almost always moist with tears.

So in a competitive and hostile savannah environment, where nutritional resources are really quite scarce to come by, the flies have literally found an oasis with water, salts and sugars all readily available for them in one place - in an animals eyes. 

A fly nourishes itself along the Grants Gazelle Lachrymal Duct

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