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13 Animals With Masked Eyes (Pictures)

If you’ve ever wondered what the animals with masked eyes are, you’ve come to the right place. These animals come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the majority of them are nocturnal. This feature may appear purely decorative, but it serves an important purpose for each animal.

Here’s a list of 13 animals with masked eyes and the benefits they have.

13 Animals with masked eyes

1. Raccoon

Raccoon in snowfield
A Raccoon in snowfield | image by pedrik via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Procyon lotor

Raccoons are a type of mammal that’s native to North America. These creatures are omnivores who primarily consume invertebrates and plants. They also live in burrows and dens left by other animals.

Their fur can be black, gray, brown, or striped, and they have a pointed snout and a bushy tail. They have large eyes and nocturnal vision, which allows them to see well in the dark.

They also have masked eyes, which allow them to blend in with their surroundings that also serve as a glare reducer, allowing them to see more clearly at night.

2. Ferret

Ferret on a woodcraft
A Ferret on a woodcraft | image by zoofanatic via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name:  Mustela furo

Ferrets are a domesticated species of the Mustelid family. They’re related to minks and otters. These creatures have long, slender bodies and short legs.

Their fur is soft and dense, and they have round ears. Their eyes are small and black, with a fur mask around them that makes them appear to be wearing spectacles.

The ferret’s natural habitat is the grasslands, scrublands, and other open areas. They live in underground dens or burrows dug by other animals.

3. Sloth

Sloth | Image by Michael Mosimann from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Bradypus variegatus

The sloth is a type of mammal found in Central and South America. It’s a tree-dweller who spends most of its time hanging upside down from trees.

Their fur is long and shaggy, and their back feet have three toes. They also have sharp claws that they use to cling to branches while sleeping or eating.

Sloths are nocturnal, so they’re active at night and sleep during the day. They eat the leaves of the trees in which they live.

4. Panda

Panda Bear
Panda by Cim from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca

Pandas are true bears that primarily eat bamboo. These animals are found in bamboo habitats and are common in southwestern China. They’re also known for their black-and-white fur, which is just their regular coat pattern.

However, pandas are most easily recognized for having a dark mask covering their eyes that aids in night vision. Some panda species are nocturnal, and having this characteristic helps them hunt effectively at night.

5. Owl

Great Horned Owls
Great Horned Owl | Image by Mark Edwards from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus

The owl is a nocturnal bird found in forests, woods, and grasslands. They have large eyes adapted for night vision and very soft feathers that allow them to fly through the air quietly.

These animals have a distinct face shape called a facial disc that surrounds the eyes. The facial disc directs sound toward the owl’s ears, allowing it to hear prey more easily. The eyes of an owl are located on the front of its head so that it can see what is in front of it while flying at night without having to turn its head much.

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6. Badger

badger european
European badger | Image by andy ballard from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Meles meles

Badgers are small mammals that live in North America. They have black fur and stripes across their faces, from their heads to their snouts. These omnivores primarily consume worms, birds, frogs, seeds, and berries.

They’re also nocturnal animals, rarely seen during the day. These animals live in burrows called setts, which have multiple entrances. Some setts can be 1,000 feet long and have 40 openings.

7. Meerkats

Two meerkat standing | image by quhl from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Suricata suricatta

Meerkats are small, mongoose-like animals that live in Africa’s deserts. They’re distinguished by their distinctive brown-and-white coloring and the habit of standing upright on their hind legs to look around their surroundings.

The dark mask around the meerkat’s eyes is one of its most distinguishing features. This helps them reduce glare from the sun, which is especially important given that they live in dry, dusty, and open desert environments. Meerkats have long tails that help them balance when standing upright, much like a bicycle kickstand.

8. Wolf

Wolf standing in snow
A wolf standing in snow | Image by 942784 from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Canis lupus

Wolf is the largest member of the canine family. It has a long, bushy tail and a thick coat that helps it survive extreme cold weather. These animals are very social, and they hunt in groups to protect themselves from other predators.

They’re mostly found in forests, grasslands, and woodlands, where they hunt and eat large mammals like deer, moose, and elk. They’re also monogamous, mating with only one wolf for the rest of their lives.

9. Osprey

Osprey perched
An Osprey perching on a log

Scientific Name: Pandion haliaetus

Ospreys can be found all over the world, particularly near lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. They have a diverse range of habitats and frequently nest near bodies of water. They primarily feed on fish and dive into the water to catch them.

The Osprey has a distinct facial mask that covers their eyes and is used in their hunting strategy. Since they hunt on the water, the mask feature around their eyes helps reduce the glare of the sun.

10. Antelope

Sable antelope
Sable antelope | Image by Kev from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Hippotragus niger

Antelopes are a unique family of mammals that live in Africa. These animals are herbivores and have hooves instead of paws. Antelopes are also known for their long legs, sharp horns, and ability to run at speeds of up to 60 mph.

You can find these long-horned creatures in grasslands and open forests. They’re social animals that live in herds of tens to thousands of individuals, depending on the species.

11. Orca

Killer Whales Qrcas
Two orcas breaching

Scientific Name: Orcinus orca

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are a dolphin family species. They can be found in all oceans but are most common in cold waters like Antarctica and Alaska.

These animals have a unique defense mechanism against the few predators they face in the wild. They have a large eye patch above their eyes, which confuses sharks and other predators as to where their eyes are.

This also gives them the appearance of having a black mask on their eyes that extends all the way through their body. Orcas are apex predators that feed on fish, squids, seals, and sea birds.

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12. Polecats

European Polecat posing for a jump
European Polecat posing for a jump | image by Keven Law via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Mustela putorius

Polecats are wild mammals in the Mustelidae family. It has a long body, short legs, and a long neck. These animals have a white band around their faces, giving them the appearance of wearing a mask.

This improves their night vision by blocking out light from their surroundings. These nocturnal creatures are commonly found in marshes or woodlands, where they sleep and live in burrows during the day.

13. Boobies

Red-footed booby on a tree branch
Red-footed booby on a tree branch | image by Steven Bedard via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Sula sula

Boobies are seabirds that live in tropical waters and have distinctive masks around their eyes. They live in groups and can dive into the water from 80 feet in the air. There are six different species of this animal, the most common of which can be found in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador.

The species determines the color of its mask. Blue-footed boobies, for example, have dark blue masks around their eyes, whereas masked boobies have black masks around their eyes.

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