why do some animals eyes shine in the dark

Eyeshine is a visible effect of the tapetum lucidum. When light shines into the eye of an animal having a tapetum lucidum, the
appears to glow. Eyeshine can be seen in many animals, in nature and in. In low light, a hand-held flashlight is sufficient to produce eyeshine that is highly visible to humans (despite our inferior ). Eyeshine occurs in a wide variety of including, and. However, since eyeshine is a type of, the color varies with the angle at which it is seen and the minerals which make up the reflective tapetum-lucidum crystals. White eyeshine occurs in many fish, especially ; blue eyeshine occurs in many mammals such as ; green eyeshine occurs in mammals such as, and ; and red eyeshine occurs in, and. [ Although human eyes lack a tapetum lucidum, they still exhibit a weak reflection from the, as can be seen in photography with the and with eyeshine. Another effect in humans and other animals that may resemble eyeshine is, which is a white shine indicative of abnormalities such as and. Cats and dogs with a blue may display both eyeshine and. Both species have a tapetum lucidum, so their pupils may display eyeshine. In color photographs, however, individuals with blue eyes may also display a distinctive red eyeshine. Individuals with may display red eyeshine in the blue eye and normal yellow/green/blue/white eyeshine in the other eye. These include and. The red-eye effect is independent of the eyeshine: in some photographs of individuals with a tapetum lucidum and heterochromia, the eyeshine is dim, yet the pupil of the blue eye still appears red.


This is most apparent when the individual is not looking into the camera because the tapetum lucidum is far less extensive than the retina. Most species of spider also have a tapetum, which is located only in their smaller, lateral eyes; the larger central eyes have no such structure. This consists of reflective crystalline deposits, and is thought to have a similar function to the structure of the same name in vertebrates. Four general patterns can be distinguished in spiders: Primitive type (e. g. , Canoe-shape type (e. g. , Grated type (e. g. , ) - a relatively complex, grill-shaped structure No tapetum (e. g. Humans use scanning for reflected eyeshine to detect and identify the species of animals in the dark, and deploying trained and at night, as these animals benefit from improved night vision through this effect. Using eyeshine to identify animals in the dark employs not only its color but also several other features. The color corresponds approximately to the type of tapetum lucidum, with some variation between species. Other features include the distance between pupils relative to their size; the height above ground; the manner of blinking (if any); and the movement of the eyeshine (bobbing, weaving, hopping, leaping, climbing, flying).


The eyes are the most sensitive and smallest sensory organ in the body of a living organism. However, it is also the most complex and intriguing sensory organ. The functioning of human eyes resembles that of a camera. Cornea, the transparent frontal part of the eye helps in protecting the iris, the pupil, and the anterior chambers. It also provides the eye with the majority of its optical power. However, we are only able to see things once the light enters the pupil. The pupil functions as the shutter of a camera. It also controls the extent of light, entering our eyes. Then after, the light gets focused on a thin sensory membrane called the retina. Over the retina, the image of the object is formed. Further, the brain receives the signal through the optic nerves. Thus, the image is interpreted and we are able to see whatвs in front of our eyes. However, the structural composition of some animalвs eye is slightly different from the eye structure of a human. This is one major cause of the fact that the eyes of animals glow in the dark. Have you ever been scared of your dog in the dark? Or have you come across the illuminating eyes of an owl in the night sky? If yes, then we are sure that it must have been a scary experience. Nonetheless, there is nothing supernatural about this phenomenon of glowing eyes of animals. It can be explained scientifically. Doctors call this phenomenon вEyeshineв or вRetroreflectionв.


The eyes of animals consist of an extra reflective layer of tissue. It is called the Tapetum Lucidum. The name sounds like a spell from the books of Harry Potter, right? Nevertheless, it is just a simple mirror like tissue and it is also referred to as the Bright-Carpet. The Tapetum Lucidum is placed underneath the Retina of the eye of the animal. The function of the Tapetum Lucidum is to reflect back the visible lights entering the eyes of the animal, through the retina. It implies that the light rays which enter into the eye get reflected back at the object from which it was first emitted. This way, it allows the eyes of the animals to absorb the maximum amount of light as it is reflected by and through the retina. Thus, it helps in enhancing the extent of availability of light to photoreceptor cells. Although, it blurs the image they visualize it helps the animals to have a better night vision than humans and some other animals. Furthermore, the amount of light which doesnвt get absorbed is routed in the opposite direction. В Therefore, the eyes of animals such as dogs, cats, bats, tigers, etc. seem to be shining in the dark. On the contrary, the human eye does not possess this special layer of tissue called the Tapetum Lucidum. This is the reason why the ability of the eyes of animals to see in the dark is superior to that of humans.

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