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Meet the Squid With One Giant Eye

Nature doesn't care about our human beauty standards. Case in point: The cockeyed squid has two totally different kinds of eyes.


Nature doesn't care about our human beauty standards. Case in point: The cockeyed squid has two totally different kinds of eyes.

 

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Compared to its misshapen neighbors, Histioteuthis heteropsis, also known as the cockeyed squid, actually looks pretty tame. But its mismatched eyes captured the curiosity of biologist Kate Thomas, who decided to try to figure out how they came to be.

 

Thomas sifted through 30 years' worth of videos taken by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to observe cockeyed squid behavior.

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In an article published Monday in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, she and her team share their conclusion: That these creatures appear to use each of their eyes for a different job.

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While the big, bulbous, green eye looks up toward the scant sunlight that reaches the squid's depths, the small, gray eye looks down, keeping watch for bioluminescent prey.

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These squids also make their own light.

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The small dots all over their body that give them their other nickname—strawberry squid—are light-producing organs called photophores, which can adjust their brightness to help the squid hide from predators or stand out to eligible mates.

 

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Maybe it helps to have two kinds of eyes when you're looking for love.

 

Learn about how you can help vulnerable marine animals by signing up with Oceana.

 

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Illustration by Fabio Manucci

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