Friday, 5 February 2016

Eyes Of An Elephant

Close up look of a wild African elephant's eye

The largest land mammal on earth, the elephant, actually has a relatively moderate visual capability compared to other herbivorous animals. Despite this nearsightedness, it has nevertheless been able to survive in the wild thanks to its excellent hearing and acute sense of smell that adequately compensates for their limited range of sight.  

Elephants that are found in the wild have been noticed to grow some extremely long upper eyelashes. This quite likely comes in handy to prevent excessive dust, dirt and numerous insects from continuously irritating the eyes, which is not uncommon in the harsh savanna environment. Their nictitating membrane helps to clean and lubricate their eyes.

These large mammals also have limited, but advantageous peripheral vision simply because each eye is located on the side of their head, which naturally gives them a wider uniocular angle. However, due to the unique location of both eyes on the head, these uniocular angles do overlap at the front which then provides the elephant with some binocular vision ( this is where both eyes are used when located in front of the face).

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