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Animals With More Than 2 Eyes (Pictures)

Different animals come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but did you know that some animals have more than 2 eyes? That’s right, there are a handful of creatures on our planet that sport three, four, or even 100 eyes!

While this may seem strange to us, extra eyes can be quite helpful for these animals, giving them an advantage when finding food or avoiding predators. So, which animals have more than two eyes? Below are 12 animals with more than 2 eyes:

Animals With More Than 2 Eyes

1. Four-Eyed Fish

Four-eyed fish
Four-eyed fish | image by Cayambe via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific Name: Anableps.

Four-eyed fish actually have just two eyes each divided into two parts. So they kind of have four eyes, each located on the top and bottom of their head. This unique arrangement allows them to see both above and below the water’s surface simultaneously, giving them a significant advantage in spotting predators or prey.

Four-eyed fish are found in tropical freshwater habitats and spend most of their time near the water’s surface. You can find them in Central and South America, and they can grow up to 18 inches long. Their eyes have a special lens that helps them focus on objects near and far away.

2. Spiders

huntsman spider | image by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Araneae.

There are more than 38,000 known species of spiders today. And while most have eight eyes, some species have as many as 12, while others have 6!

Spiders use their extra eyes to improve their vision and help them spot predators or prey. Most spiders have four pairs of eyes, arranged in two rows of two. However, some species – like the jumping spider – have three rows of eyes, with two eyes in the middle row.

3. Iguana

young green iguana
Image by Muhajir Idi from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Iguana.

Technically the iguana is omnivorous, though they are a mostly herbivorous lizard native to Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Southern Brazil. With that said, iguanas are an invasive species in Florida in the U.S. and are quite common there.

Iguanas have three eyes arranged in a row on top of their head, one of which isn’t easily seen and doesn’t look like the main two. The third eye, also known as the parietal eye, is light and movement-sensitive, helping the iguana to detect predators, especially birds from above.

4. Praying Mantis

Scientific Name: Mantodea.

The praying mantis has five eyes- two large ones in the front of its head and three smaller ones on top. Interestingly enough, the three smaller eyes don’t provide the mantis with any real vision. Instead, they help the mantis sense changes in light, which is essential for camouflage and hunting.

The two large eyes in the front of its head give the mantis very sharp vision, allowing it to see prey from far away. Although they have excellent vision, they cannot see color, and their primary method of hunting is by sight.

5. Chiton

Scientific Name: Polyplacophora.

The chiton is a mollusk that is native to the waters around Australia. It is a small creature, measuring only a few centimeters in length. In total, the chiton has over 1000 tiny eyes, making it one of the most optically-sensitive creatures on Earth. The chiton’s eyes are used to detect movement in the water, and they also help the creature avoid predators.

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Another distinctive feature of the chiton is its shell, which is composed of eight plates. These plates are arranged in a series of concentric circles, each covered with tiny eyes.

6. Bees

Honey Bee

Scientific Name: Anthophila.

Bees have five eyes, two big compound eyes and three tiny ocelli eyes at the center of their heads. They use the two big eyes to detect movement and the ocelli eyes to orient themselves while flying.

All three types of eyes are used for light detection, but each type of eye is specialized for a different task. The two compound eyes are made up of thousands of tiny hexagonal lenses.

Each lens focuses light onto a different part of the eye, allowing the bee to see in all directions at once. Bees can see ultraviolet light, which helps them find flowers.

7. Tuatara

Scientific Name: Sphenodon.

The tuatara is a reptile indigenous to New Zealand. It is the only surviving member of its order, which dates back to the age of the dinosaurs. The tuatara has a third eye on top of its head, which is believed to help it regulate its body temperature.

While all reptiles are ectothermic animals, meaning they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature, the tuatara is unique because it can also generate its own body heat. This is likely due to its higher metabolism, which is needed to maintain its three eyes.

8. Starfish

Scientific Name: Asteroidea.

Also known as the sea star, the starfish has five eyes, which are located on the tips of its arms. These eyes are very sensitive and can detect even the slightest movement.

The starfish uses its eyes to help it find food and avoid predators. Although the starfish’s eyes are small, they are crucial to its survival.

9. The Horseshoe Crab

Scientific Name: Limulidae.

Horseshoe crabs are not crabs but are more closely related to spiders and scorpions. These strange-looking creatures have ten eyes, which may seem like a lot, but they have very poor vision.

The large central eye is used to detect light, while the smaller eyes are used to detect movement. However, the most exciting thing about horseshoe crab eyes is that they can change color.

When the crab is buried in sand, the eyes will turn red, making it easier for the crab to see. When the crab is above ground, the eyes will turn blue, making it easier for the crab to see predators.

10. Scorpions

Scientific Name: Scorpiones.

Scorpions are mysterious creatures that have long fascinated humans. One of the most intriguing aspects of these eight-legged predators is their unique eyesight. Most scorpions have four pairs of eyes, arranged in two rows of two.

However, some species of scorpion have an extra pair of eyes, giving them a total of 12. These additional eyes are located on the top of the head and are thought to help the scorpion detect movement from above. Unfortunately, scorpions have poor vision, and these extra eyes are believed to be more for sensing movement than seeing.

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11. Box Jelly Fish

Box Jellyfish | image by gautsch. via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Chironex fleckeri.

Box jellyfish have 24 eyes- each with a different function. Some eyes are used to detect light, while others are designed to spot predators or prey. This allows the jellyfish to see in a wide range of directions at once, giving them a significant advantage in the water.

In addition, box jellyfish can also change the color of their eyes depending on the light conditions. This allows them to blend in with their surroundings and avoid being seen by predators.

However, box jellyfish are some of the most feared creatures in the ocean. Their venom is potent and can kill a human within minutes.

12. Lamprey

image by USFWS Midwest Region

Scientific Name: Petromyzontiformes.

The lamprey is a jawless fish best known for its sucker-like mouth, which it uses to attach to other fish to feed on their blood. What many people don’t know about the lamprey, however, is that it has four eyes.

Two of these eyes are on the top of the head, and two are on the bottom. The top eyes are used to detect light, while the bottom eyes are used to detect movement. This unique arrangement allows the lamprey to see both above and below the water simultaneously.

In addition, the lamprey’s eyes are extremely sensitive to light, allowing it to hunt for food even in dark waters. Thanks to its four eyes, the lamprey is able to see clearly in a variety of different environments.

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