10 Animals With More Than Two Eyes (Update 2023+Pictures)

Last updated on November 30th, 2023 at 12:48 am

Ever wondered about animals with more than two eyes? Brace yourself for a journey into the extraordinary! From well-known to surprising, we’ve unearthed creatures with myriad eyes, including one with a staggering 1,000! Let’s delve into why some animals need more than two eyes and explore the fascinating world of cultivation.

While humans use two eyes for a broader vision, many animals need extra eyes for survival in challenging environments. Their eyes become crucial tools to spot prey and predators, ensuring their existence in the wild.

Animals With More Than Two Eyes

AnimalsNumber of Eyes
Komodo Dragon3
Iguana3
Tuatara3
Lamprey4
Triops3
Four-eyed Fish4
Praying Mantis5
Starfish5
Jumping Spider5

1. Komodo Dragon

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific Name: Varanus komodoensis
  • Number of Eyes: 3

The Komodo dragon, a formidable reptile from the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), is native to Indonesia, specifically found in the Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Montang islands.

As the largest living lizard, it can reach an impressive 9.8 feet in length and weigh up to 150 pounds. Notably, these lizards possess three eyes: two in conventional positions and a distinctive third eye, the parietal eye.

Despite lacking visual capabilities, this unique eye endows the Komodo dragon with enhanced vision, enabling it to see objects as far as 300 meters away. The third eye empowers these remarkable reptiles to optimize their foraging, spot potential food sources more efficiently, and navigate their surroundings, evading competitors and predators with precision.

2. Iguana

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific Name: Iguana 
  • Number of eyes: 3

The term “Iguana” refers to a genus with two distinct species: the green iguana and the Lesser Antillean iguana. Native to South and Central America, including countries like Mexico, iguanas are popular reptile pets known for their unique features.

The iguana’s third eye is light-sensitive and positioned in the sky, aiding in the detection of predators approaching from above. While this eye may not be easily distinguishable due to its scale-like appearance, it is vital in the iguana’s ability to perceive and respond to potential threats.

Facts Iguanas boast a hidden third eye, the parietal eye, facing the sky, enabling them to detect potential aerial predators. With three eyes, they excel in long-distance vision, aiding survival by perceiving color, shapes, and movement, crucial for hunting and evading threats.

Read Also: Animals Without Teeth

3. Tuatara

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific Name: Sphenodon punctatus
  • Number of eyes: 3

The tuatara, not a lizard but a unique reptile under Rhynchocephalia, thrives in New Zealand’s coastal waters. Despite its relation to lizards and snakes, it stands apart as the sole extant species in its order.

The parietal eye lies atop the tuatara’s head, resembling a normal eye with a lens and retina. However, covered in scales, it defies the functionality of a typical eye.

Unlike lizards and iguanas, the tuatara’s third eye, though complete with lens, retina, cornea, and nerves, becomes invisible after hatching due to protective scales.

Intriguingly, even young tuataras may briefly display this parietal eye before it’s concealed, adding a mysterious touch to their unique biology.

Unraveling the mysteries of the tuatara unveils not just a reptile, but a creature with a concealed eye, inviting us to explore the marvels of evolution.

Facts Tuataras employ their third eye not for vision but to gauge the time and season of the year.

4. Lamprey

  • Scientific Name: Petromyzontiformes 
  • Number of eyes: 4 

The lamprey, the pioneering vertebrate with backbones, defies convention as a jawless fish, relying on numerous teeth and a blood-sucking mouth to bore into the flesh of other aquatic animals. Despite the common misconception of being lamprey eels, they belong to the distinct order Petromyzontiformes.

With 38 extant and 5 extinct species, lampreys are diverse creatures inhabiting both coastal and fresh waters, carving a niche in aquatic ecosystems.

Characterized by a funnel-shaped mouth lined with teeth, the lamprey showcases a unique feeding mechanism that sets it apart in the underwater world.

While not overtly visible, the lamprey boasts four eyes. The initial two are conventional, while the additional pair, the parietal eyes, perch atop the head, developed from the parapineal and pineal organs.

Fact The lamprey’s parietal eyes, facing the sky, serve as a crucial detection tool, alerting it to potential threats from above and behind, enhancing its ability to escape danger.

Triops

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific Name: Triops 
  • Number of eyes: 3

Native to Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and parts of North America, troops species find homes as both pets and inhabitants of pools, showcasing their adaptability to diverse environments.

The name “Triops” is a Greek term meaning “three eyes,” a fitting descriptor for these crustaceans. It’s a testament to their unique anatomical feature that captures the imagination of enthusiasts.

Every species of Triops falls under the vast category of crustaceans, adding to the diversity within this fascinating genus.

Facts Triops, adorable crustaceans, boast three eyes — two visible and a hidden one facing the sky, sensitive to light. These eyes, located on top of their heads, add to the charm of these small creatures.

6. Four-eyed Fish

  • Scientific Name: Anableps 
  • Number of eyes: 4 

Anableps goes by various names, including Largescale foureyes, Stargazer fish, and Striped four-eyed fish. Typically found in fresh and brackish waters of South America and Trinidad, these fish can grow up to 18 inches long.

At a glance, the four-eyed fish appears to have two main eyes, but the presence of two lobes in each eye, each with its own pupil, results in separate visions. One lobe monitors above the water surface, while the second lobe focuses on the underwater environment, showcasing their incredible adaptation to their habitat.

Facts The four-eyed fish’s dual vision, capturing both aerial and aquatic environments, not only enhances its chances of survival and reproduction by facilitating food acquisition but also acts as a deterrent against becoming prey for others.

7. Praying Mantis

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific Name: Mantodea
  • Number of Eyes: 5

The praying mantis, a prominent member of the Mantodea order, stands as a testament to the diversity within the insect kingdom. With 33 families, 460 genera, and over 2,400 species, the mantis is a globally distributed insect, thriving in both temperate and tropical habitats.

Spanning across the globe, the Mantodea order’s large footprint is felt in various ecosystems, demonstrating adaptability in both temperate and tropical regions.

One of the remarkable features of the praying mantis lies in its vision. Similar to bees, it possesses two compound eyes and three smaller ones designed for light detection. This intricate visual system contributes to its adept hunting and survival skills.

Facts Praying mantises, with the ability to rotate their heads 180 degrees and equipped with five eyes, excel at scanning their surroundings for prey and evading predators.

8. Starfish

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific Name: Asteroidea
  • Number of Eyes: 5 

The starfish, a marine marvel shaped like a star, derives its name from its distinctive appearance and belongs to the Asteroidea class. With around 1,900 species, these fascinating creatures inhabit oceans worldwide, from the coldest to the warmest waters, with an impressive depth range of up to 20,000 feet.

What sets the starfish apart is its eyespots, strategically positioned at the top of each arm, totaling five. These eyespots serve a crucial purpose—they enable the starfish to locate food and evade predators in its aquatic environment.

Fact Starfish eyespots, capable of detecting various shades of light, enable them to navigate, locate food, and avoid becoming prey in their aquatic surroundings.

9. Jumping Spider

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific Name: Opabinia regalis 
  • Number of Eyes: 5

The jumping spider, a fascinating arachnid belonging to the Salticidae family, stands out with its impressive agility and visual acuity. With 600 genera and 6,000 species, these spiders are found worldwide, adapting to various environments such as scrublands, deserts, and mountainous regions.

With eight eyes, a common trait among arachnids, the jumping spider’s visual system is a marvel. Two principal eyes function like typical visual organs, allowing for focused and detailed vision. Complementing these are six immobile eyes, collectively providing the jumping spider with impeccable eyesight.

Facts Spiders, equipped with multiple eyes, enhance their survival by detecting predators, efficiently hunting and capturing prey, identifying potential mates, and distinguishing between rivals.

Final Words

There are species of animals with more than two eyes, ranging from 3 to as many as 1,000. These animals fall into different families, classes, and orders. Our list is not exhaustive, but we’ve been able to capture the importance of the extra eye for these animals. While the eyes aren’t always visual, they serve to detect prey, avoid predators, and navigate the environment.

FAQs

1. Which animals have more than two eyes?

Various animals exhibit more than two eyes, ranging from 3 to as many as 1,000. These include species across different families, classes, and orders.

2. Can you provide examples of animals with more than two eyes?

Some examples include certain spiders, insects, and deep-sea organisms. The diversity extends across different species, showcasing nature’s creative adaptations.

3. How do these extra eyes contribute to the animals’ survival?

Beyond visual perception, these additional eyes aid in tasks like detecting prey, evading predators, and navigating complex environments, showcasing the animals’ adaptability.

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