MBL Program to Peer into Eyes of the Animal Kingdom

Courtesy of the Marine Biological Laboratory: MBL Assistant Scientist in the Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering Lydia Mäthger.

WOODS HOLE – The Marine Biological Laboratory will introduce Cape Codders to the fascinating world of animal eyes during the first Science Before Supper program of the season.

The free event, “Looking Closely: Why Do Some Animals Have Such Strange Pupil Shapes?,” is Thursday, February 15 at 5 p.m. in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room at the Falmouth Public Library.

The presentation will focus on the eyes of the animal kingdom, their designs and pupil shapes and how they are formed to provide each species with the vision needed for optimal function.

Pupil shapes of animals are highly diverse.

Humans, dogs and most fish have circular pupils and we know cats have silt-shaped pupils, but what about horses, sharks and rays.

Some animal groups have elaborate shapes, including a W-shape in cuttlefish, and even more bizarre shapes in some skates and rays.

Scientists are just beginning to understand why pupils are shaped the way they are.

The event will feature MBL Assistant Scientist in the Eugene Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering Lydia Mäthger, a biologist interested in the various ways in which animals are adapted to thrive in their respective habitats.

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