The Llama Stares Back
April 4, 2013 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Animal Eyes
posted by bigbigdog (45 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are neat, but I feel they overlooked the best and most adorable eyes of all.

Honestly though, if you put me in a dark room and flashed these up on screen and I was forced to choose which were, like, deep-sea organisms and which were eyeballs, I probably won't do all that well on the ones that don't obviously have a bit of fur 'round the edges of the photo. So cool.
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:24 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


WTF, llama.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:25 AM on April 4, 2013 [18 favorites]


Goddam, llamas got them some weird eyes.
posted by Sternmeyer at 9:38 AM on April 4, 2013


They forgot the weirdest eye in nature!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuttlefish#Eyes
posted by DigDoug at 9:41 AM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


WOW

Also, I've tried to use a macro lens to get pictures of eyes, and it is freaking hard.
posted by aubilenon at 9:42 AM on April 4, 2013


Funny I was just reading about this.
posted by pinothefrog at 9:42 AM on April 4, 2013


This is the best explanation I could find for why llamas have those weird irises.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 9:43 AM on April 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Up until now, I could truthfully claim that I had never thought, "I want to go ice-skating on that Husky's eyeball."
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 9:43 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


WTF, llama.

I know, so weird. It also has two ears, a heart, a forehead, and a beak for eating honey.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:43 AM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Don't forget goat eyes *shudder*
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:56 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those were really hard to look at. I couldn't keep going after the llama.
posted by latkes at 10:02 AM on April 4, 2013


Needs the "yes, I'm looking at you" tag.
posted by arcticseal at 10:17 AM on April 4, 2013


Yeah, the llama made me close the tab immediately. I love goat eyes though, especially in person. They're so fittingly weird for those weird little creatures.
posted by broadway bill at 10:18 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Many animals (esp. insects) can perceive light polarization. Humans can too, albeit very faintly. The effect is called Haidinger's brush and it is readily apparent on a white LCD display, if you know what to look for.
posted by ryanrs at 10:19 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I got freaked out about part way through and had an odd sensation. It was like you're looking into a black pit where you can't see the bottom and apprehension wells up and makes you believe that if you fell into it, you would keep falling forever.
posted by royalsong at 10:20 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you ever want to concern or confound a Peruvian, show them the llama video.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:30 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


These are much creepier than I expected them to be. I mean, duh, llama, but the fishes, the parrot and the cow are deeply weird as well.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:34 AM on April 4, 2013


I know, so weird. It also has two ears, a heart, a forehead, and a beak for eating honey. needle-sharp teeth with which to castrate you.

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posted by sebastienbailard at 10:42 AM on April 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was hoping this post would be about some new Def Leppard album, but this is cool, too.
posted by not_on_display at 10:43 AM on April 4, 2013


Don't forget the hypnotoad!
posted by moonmilk at 10:52 AM on April 4, 2013


I think I was about 28 the first time I ever bothered to look closely at a goat's eyes and it freaked me out enough I literally had to walk away from this demon creature.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:55 AM on April 4, 2013


My coworkers laugh at me when I tell them that I fear goats and certain other cloven creatures.

They're all swearing under their breaths in agreement now that they've seen this.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:03 AM on April 4, 2013


So I was just thinking about this today, when I saw that ostriches have eyelashes. Do all birds have eyelashes? Did dinosaurs?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:03 AM on April 4, 2013


:scroll:

AH!

:scroll:

AH!

:scroll:

Okay.

:scroll:

AH!
posted by Splunge at 11:07 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also this set is pretty amazing; thank you for posting it. (The birds in this set seem to have have eyelash-like feather stubs, is what reminded me about the ostrich)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:09 AM on April 4, 2013


Somebody tell the hyena that it has to return the Eye of Sauron now - the orcs are starting get restless without its evil, all-seeing gaze.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 11:09 AM on April 4, 2013


I will need to look closer at my llamas' eyes. Have had them for 5 years now and have never seen anything like what is shown in the link. Have to admit if one of my animals had that much clouding I would assume they had conjunctivitis.

Freaky-cool post.
posted by terrapin at 11:14 AM on April 4, 2013


Here's a bit about the llama eyes -
Like all other ruminants, the pupil is oval shaped with the horizontal axis being the longer one. The difference comes with structures called 'iridic granules' or 'corpora nigra'. These are dark lumpy masses coming off the iris at the top and/or bottom of the pupil margins. They are thought to shade the eye from bright sunlight.

Horses only have these on the top pupillary margin and they are more rounded. Cattle and sheep have more rounded iridic granules like horses, but on both sides (top and bottom) of the pupil.

Llamas have iridic granules on the top and bottom of the pupil as well, however, they are more elongated than rounded. In bright sunlight these iridic granules can actually interdigitate to completely cover the centre of the pupil. This leaves just two holes open on either end of the pupil.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:19 AM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I know how I will spending many hours of this spring now.
posted by terrapin at 11:25 AM on April 4, 2013


"Iridic granules"? I would have bet that was something magical made up by Terry Pratchett.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:39 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The left and right husky eyes look like shots of the same huge volcano from space but in different seasons.
The horse eye is absolutely gut-curdlingly terrifying and makes me trust the average horse's sanity and benevolence even less than before.
And the whole gallery reminds me of one of those excellent "see, your privates are totally normal too!" sites.
posted by runincircles at 11:47 AM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think we may have forgotten the mantis shrimp, here.
posted by oflinkey at 11:59 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Barf!

That horse had problems, I think. And llamas are gross. I hate eyes now! Thanks a lot!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:59 AM on April 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't understand the llama eye. I think it's just a reflection. He was probably riding in a helicopter and looking down at a canyon.

I Google image'd 'llama eye', and that's the only picture that looks like that.
posted by dgaicun at 12:10 PM on April 4, 2013


These are all beautiful. If you ever want convincing there is a mind - no matter how alien or how simple - behind an animal's face, look into its eyes.
posted by strixus at 12:13 PM on April 4, 2013


Camels are my favorite animal, but after spending a few weeks on Socotra (where there are 300,000 goats to 70,000 people), I now think goats are some of the cutest things around. Their eyes are adorable.
posted by mykescipark at 12:40 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


:(
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:03 PM on April 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


And yet nobody complains about the snail.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:04 PM on April 4, 2013


"Iridic granules" - Would be a great name for a band. The first album's cover art would be a bit troubling though.
posted by DigDoug at 2:34 PM on April 4, 2013


The photo is labelled "Lama". The granules are probably a side effect of meditation (or possibly of living on the navel of the world).
posted by stebulus at 2:54 PM on April 4, 2013


Llama eyes are not the only strange thing. Llamas have three kinds of spit:

Llamas do not spit without some type of warning which can be easily read by a person or another llama. As an initial warning, a llama will put its ears back. If challenged further, a llama will pin its ears back very tightly and tilt its head back so that the nose is pointed up in the air. Often as a final warning a llama will spit into the air. If this has not yet convinced the other llama or person to back off, a llama may spit directly on whomever they are perceiving as a threat or nuisance.

The actual contents of the spit can take different forms. There is a grain spit, a saliva spit, and a green stomach contents spit. An eating llama who is protecting its food will spit whatever is in their mouth. This usually occurs while llamas are eating grain. It is a lot like a person trying to whistle with crackers in their mouth except with more force. Llamas may also spit just by spraying the saliva present in their mouths. This type of spit is usually used as a warning before the green spit appears. Crias will spit this way while they are learning and before they can regurgitate their stomach contents. The worst type of spit is the green regurgitated stomach contents. A llama usually means business when spitting "the green stuff". The green spit can easily be sent out 10-15 feet by the spitter. This spit is very smelly to people and to llamas. A llama who has been spit on and sometimes the llama who did the spitting will hang their mouths open to express their dislike for the smell. The llama who spit may also have green on its lips and allow the bottom lip to hang while he/she drools.


Via Non-Prophet
posted by Splunge at 3:19 PM on April 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


AUUUUUUUUUUGH

I forced myself to (very quickly) scroll through the entire link, because (1) as a grad student in vision science, I felt it my honour at stake, and (2) I got curious about the llama eye. Why didn't I just sop?

I may not be able to sleep tonight. Shudder.
posted by tickingclock at 9:14 PM on April 4, 2013


So many examples of intelligent design. Thank you.
posted by oneironaut at 11:43 AM on April 5, 2013


In bright sunlight these iridic granules can actually interdigitate to completely cover the centre of the pupil.

What!?

Hold your hands out parallel to the ground and with the fingers pointing at each other. Bring them together, interlacing your fingers. That's what llama eyes do!

What!?

Interdigitate is a cool word.
It will also be the title of the second album by The Iridic Granules.
posted by LEGO Damashii at 1:50 PM on April 5, 2013


It will also be the title of the second album by The Iridic Granules.

Whoah, slow down! We haven't even found a bass player yet!
posted by Iridic at 3:10 PM on April 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


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