As an animal enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the incredible diversity of creatures that inhabit our planet. From the tiniest insects to the largest mammals, there is something endlessly fascinating about how animals have adapted to their environments and evolved.
One aspect of animal anatomy that I find particularly interesting is the size and shape of their eyes. As you might expect, different animals have eyes of vastly different sizes, shapes, and capabilities, depending on their specific needs and lifestyles.
Some animals, for example, have incredibly large and complex eyes that allow them to see in near-total darkness, while others have tiny, almost imperceptible eyes that serve a very different purpose.
In this blog post, I want to focus on animals with small eyes – creatures that might not seem like they have much visual prowess but have still managed to survive and thrive in their respective environments.
From insects to reptiles to mammals, plenty of small-eyed animals are worth learning about and appreciating for their unique and impressive abilities.
So, without further ado, let’s look at some fascinating creatures in this category!
12 Animals With Fascinating Small Eyes
Today, I want to take you through a list of 12 small-eyed animals that will leave you awestruck.
1. Mole (Talpa europaea)
These burrowing creatures have small, beady eyes that are almost invisible under their thick fur. Moles have poor eyesight, but they have evolved to compensate for it.
They have extremely sensitive noses and whiskers that can detect the slightest vibrations and movements in their underground tunnels.
Moles are mostly found in Europe and feed on earthworms, insects, and other small invertebrates.
2. Mongoose (Herpestidae)
Mongooses are small carnivores found in Africa and Asia. They have tiny, almond-shaped eyes adapted for detecting movement.
One of the fascinating adaptations of the mongoose is their ability to resist venom from snakes, such as cobras. This resistance is due to a combination of factors, including their quick reflexes and tolerance for certain toxins.
They are known for their agility and speed and use their keen eyesight to spot prey from afar. Mongoose feed on various small animals, including insects, reptiles, and birds.
3. Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
The elephant might not be the first animal that comes to mind when you think of small-eyed creatures, but the truth is, their eyes are relatively small in proportion to their massive size. The average adult elephant eye size is 2.5 cm.
Elephants have poor eyesight and can only see for a short distance, but they use their other senses to navigate their surroundings. Their incredible memory and sense of smell help them find food and water. Elephants are mostly found in Africa, and they feed on vegetation.
4. Fox (Vulpes vulpes)
Foxes are small, agile carnivores found worldwide, from the Arctic Circle to the tropics. They have a distinctive appearance: a bushy tail, sharp teeth, and small, almond-shaped eyes.
These small, beady eyes help them hunt at night. Their pupils dilate to allow more light in, and they have an exceptional sense of hearing that allows them to locate prey. Foxes are small furry mammals that feed on small mammals, birds, and insects.
5. Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
The wombat is a marsupial found in Australia, and it has tiny, black eyes that are barely visible.
They have stocky bodies and strong legs. Wombats are burrowers and use their powerful front legs to dig extensive burrow systems for food and shelter.
Wombats have poor eyesight, but they have an excellent sense of smell and hearing. They use their powerful front teeth for protection. Wombats are herbivores and feed on grass, roots, and bark.
6. Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)
Walruses, also called morse, have small, beady eyes that are adapted for seeing underwater. In addition, they have a thick layer of blubber that helps them stay warm in the frigid Arctic waters where they live.
Walruses use their sensitive whiskers to locate food on the ocean floor, and they feed on clams, mussels, and other small invertebrates.
7. Shrew (Soricidae)
Shrews are tiny, insectivorous mammals that can be found worldwide. Despite their size, these little critters are fierce hunters with sharp teeth and claws that they use to catch their prey.
Shrews have small, beady eyes adapted for seeing in low light. They use their sense of smell to detect their prey, and their small eyes help them focus on their target.
Shrews are also known for their high metabolic rates and active lifestyles, so they need a constant food supply to fuel their bodies.
In the wild, shrews can be found in a variety of habitats, from forests to grasslands to deserts. Some species are even semi-aquatic and can be found in wetland environments.
Shrews feed on various small invertebrates, including insects, spiders, and earthworms. Some species will also eat small vertebrates like mice and shrews.
8. Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
The platypus is a bizarre creature found in Australia that has small, black eyes that are barely visible.
They have poor eyesight but use their sensitive bill to locate prey underwater. As a result, platypuses are the only mammals that lay eggs and feed on small invertebrates and fish.
9. Starfish (Asteroidea)
These fascinating creatures are known for their unique appearance, with five arms branching out from a central disk.
The small eyes of starfish are located at the tips of their arms, and they help them detect light and shadows in the water. This is important for their survival, as they use this information to locate food and avoid predators.
Starfish have a simple nervous system and can regenerate their arms, which makes them one of the most resilient creatures in the ocean.
Starfish are found in oceans worldwide, from the warm waters of the tropics to the chilly depths of the Arctic. They are incredibly adaptable creatures, surviving in various environments, from rocky shores to sandy bottoms.
Starfish feed on various prey, including mollusks, clams, and other small invertebrates. They use their suction cup-like feet to pry open their prey and then push their stomachs out of their mouths and into their prey’s shells to digest their food.
10. Armadillos (Dasypodidae)
Armadillos are armored creatures found in the Americas. They live in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from deserts to rainforests. They are among animals with small eyes barely visible under their armored plating, but they make up for it with their keen sense of smell.
Armadillos are known for their tough shells, which protect them from predators. In addition, they use their strong sense of smell to locate food, primarily consisting of insects, grubs, and small animals.
Armadillos are also skilled diggers, using their sharp claws to excavate burrows for shelter.
These little tanks are fascinating creatures that have adapted to their environment uniquely. With their small eyes and powerful sense of smell, they are the perfect example of how animals can adapt to survive.
11. Scorpions (Scorpiones)
Yowza! Scorpions might send shivers down your spine, but they are fascinating creatures! With their eight legs, pincers, and venomous stinger on their tail, these arachnids are known to be tough and scary. And though they may not look like it, scorpions also have small eyes that are unique in their own way.
Scientifically known as Scorpiones, these creatures belong to the Arachnida class and can be found worldwide, except for Antarctica. There are more than 2,500 species of scorpions, and they come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from 0.5 inches to a whopping 8 inches in length.
Scorpions have two types of eyes – simple eyes called lateral eyes, and more complex eyes called median eyes.
The lateral eyes are on the sides of their heads, and each has a single lens, enough to distinguish light from dark.
The median eyes, on the other hand, are located on the top of their heads and have multiple lenses that allow the scorpions to detect the shapes and movement of their prey.
Despite having small eyes, scorpions rely heavily on their sense of touch and vibration to detect prey, predators, and other objects in their environment. Their pincers are incredibly sensitive and can pick up the slightest movements, making them efficient hunters and fighters.
Regarding habitat, scorpions can be found in various environments, including deserts, forests, grasslands, and even underwater. They are nocturnal creatures, preferring to come out at night when the temperatures are cooler, and they can hunt and scavenge in peace.
When it comes to feeding, scorpions are carnivorous and eat a variety of prey, including insects, spiders, and even small vertebrates like lizards and mice.
12. Caterpillar (Lepidoptera)
Caterpillars are in the larval stage of butterflies and moths, and they have small, simple eyes that can detect light and dark.
They use their sense of smell to locate food and feed on leaves and other plant matter. Caterpillars are found all over the world, and they are an important part of many ecosystems.
Final Thoughts: Animals with small eyes
In conclusion, these animals with small eyes might seem unimpressive at first glance, but they have adapted uniquely to their environment.
They have developed heightened senses, unique features, and behaviors that allow them to thrive in their habitats. It’s amazing how nature has equipped these creatures with what they need to survive and flourish, even if it means having small eyes.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about these 10 small-eyed animals and that you have gained a newfound appreciation for the diversity and wonder of the animal kingdom.