Does your dog see color? How many eyes does a spider have?
Where are a sea star's eyes? Five exhibit areas explore different facets
of animal vision. Different Kinds of Eyes focuses on various types
of animal eyes and how they work, while Different Places on Different
Faces discusses the positioning of animals' eyes and how this affects
what they see. Night Eyes looks at how animals see at night, and Seeing
In Color explores how color is processed in the eye and discusses
which animals can see color. Finally, 3 Eyes, 5 Eyes, 8 Eyes, More looks
at animals with multiple eyes.
Animal Eyes was organized by the Museum of Ophthalmology, San
Francisco, part of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology,
with generous support from the National Science Foundation and LensCrafters. Animal
Eyes won first place in the 1999 American Association of Museums'
Eleventh Annual Exhibition Competition.
|Animal Eyes features
five exhibit areas:
Different Kinds of Eyes
This section compares the many different kinds of eyes in the animal
kingdom. Some eyes only sense the difference between light and dark,
and other eyes, like our own, make an image. Some animals’ eyes create
images with mirrors, while others use lenses. This section features
the eyes of the human, earthworm, sea star, nautilus, scallop, fly,
Different Places On Different Faces
In this area, visitors can learn where animals’ eyes are located and
how their eye positions help them survive. Hands-on activities teach
visitors about their own binocular vision and peripheral vision. Through
interactive components and photographs, visitors can discover some animals
with eyes in unique positions on their heads or bodies. In addition to
human eyes, this area explores the eyes of the American Woodcock, monkey,
ground squirrel, lion, zebra, duck, rabbit, chameleon, stalk-eyed fly,
hammerhead shark, snail, whale, and crab.
Models and hands-on components show how nocturnal animals need certain “equipment” to
see well at night—big eyes, big pupils, many rods in their retinas and/or
a reflective tapetum. This section features the eyes of the human, raccoon,
Great Horned Owl, tarsier, moth, and hatchet fish.
Seeing In Color
This section emphasizes scientific research into animal color vision.
Visitors can find out what scientists know about color vision and how
they know it. Visitors can learn about cones, the special light-sensitive
cells in the human retina, and also compare their color vision with
the color vision of other animals. This area features the eyes of the
human, dog, bee, and mantis shrimp.
3 Eyes, 5 Eyes, 8 Eyes, More
This section highlights animals with more than two eyes. Visitors can
learn not only the number, but the location of these animals’ eyes.
Featured animals include: spider, tuatara, lizard, sea star, horseshoe
crab, grasshopper, and scallop.