Sunday, 22 November 2015

No Head, No Worries: Mollusc Can See With Its Rock-Hard Eyes

Acanthopleura granulata. Image courtesy of Hans Hillewaert, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Joel Kontinen

It’s not easy to see a chiton that looks like a rock on which it lives. But with its thousand tiny rock-hard eyes the mollusk is by no means blind.

Although its eyesight might not match that of an eagle, its tiny lenses – each merely a tenth of a millimetre across – lets the creature evade predators.

A report in New Scientist quotes Sönke Johnsen, an ecologist at Duke University, as saying:

“It’s a basic camera eye design. The difference is they’re embedded in rock and the lens itself is made out of rock.”

While Acanthopleura granulata might look simple, its exceptional eye design suggests that the Creator loves diversity.

You can read about some other intelligent solutions seen in the animal kingdom here, here and here.


Nowogrodzki, Anna. 2015. Mollusc sees the world through hundreds of eyes made out of rock. New Scientist (19 November).

Pennisi, Elizabeth. 2015. Video: Sea creature makes a thousand eyes from its shell. Science (19 November).