Chameleons

Chameleons


Chameleons can move their eyes in two directions at the same time.


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Chameleons can move their eyes in different directions, and most scientists thought that meant that each eye worked independently from the other. Scientists in Israel say they have discovered, however, that chameleons' eyes are, in fact, highly coordinated.

Many fish and birds have eyes on opposite sides of the head, and they seemingly have at any given moment two different pictures of the world around them. But chameleons' eyes are slightly bulging so they can focus both eyes on one object or track two different objects with each eye.

The puzzling question was: does one eye know what the other is doing?

Scientists at Haifa University, in Israel, tried to find the answer with the help of a computer screen.

"We found out that each eye has a different role. We have the tracking eye, that will continue tracking the target, and the converging eye that will converge to the tracking eye, and eventually, she will choose that target," said Hadas Ketter-Katz, who is a scientist at the university. "We found out that each eye has a different subtle pattern of eye movements according to her role."


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