Why the eyes of herbivores are on both sides and the carnivores are on the front, it turned out to be learned!

2020-01-06 | Zhong Ming talks about science original |

Actually, the eyes of the herbivores and the eyes of the predators are two different control systems. If they are compared to a computer, the eyes of the predators are like the Apple operating system, while the eyes of the herbivoresEyes this is the windos operating system. There is no high or low level operation, but this operating system is more suitable for them.

eyes of herbivores

We can think of ourselves as a herbivore, such as a fawn. Every day you eat grass on the prairie. In addition to eating grass, another important thing is to beware of tigers or wolves.That is, you need a wider field of vision to survive in the natural world of weak meat and strong food.

The eyes of herbivores have evolved in order to obtain a wider field of vision. Their eyes usually grow on both sides of the head, and both eyes can rotate independently, so that the field of vision they acquire is even more.Wider, the probability of survival is even greater.

Maybe, during the process of biological evolution, the eyes of some herbivores also evolved like human eyes, in front of the head, but because the field of view becomes narrower, it is easier to be captured by predators, so in natureWas eliminated.

But there are some herbivores with eyes that are like humans, such as monkeys. They are not extinct.

Vegetarian monkey, why are the eyes in front?

We know that although monkeys occasionally eat meat, most of the time, monkeys depend on leaves and fruits for their livelihood, so they are also herbivores, but they do not have the eyes of herbivores, but rather the eyes of predators,Why is this?

This involves binocular vision.

Binocular vision means that the fields of vision that can be seen by both eyes overlap, and that binocular vision is linked, that is, when one eye is moving, the other eye will move accordingly.In this case, the observed field of view is narrower than that of herbivores. But there are certain benefits.

Because binocular vision has interpupillary distance, it can measure the precise distance of objects in the field of vision and produce stereo vision.

Monkeys climb trees every day in their lives, so they need a visual system that can accurately determine the distance between branches, so that they cannot be killed.

In addition, their food is mainly various fruits. Being able to accurately determine the distance of the fruit is also one of their necessary skills.

Actually, the reason why humans have binocular vision is also for this reason. We know that human history has only become a top predator for a short period of time. Most of the time, it is to collect fruits and pick up carrion to make a living, that is,Supposedly, human eyes should grow on both sides of the head.

But the reason why it is what it is now is actually that humans belonged to the arboreal movement in the early days, so this hypothesis is also called the arboreal hypothesis. The hypothesis believes that all living things on the tree, whether herbivorous or carnivorous, willBinocular vision evolved.

Through the arboreal hypothesis, we know that the benefits of binocular vision are :

You can judge the distance of an object more accurately. You can judge the three-dimensionality of an object through binocular vision. Based on these two points, we can determine why the eyes of predators are also binocular vision.

carnivorous eyes

Compared with herbivores, carnivores' food moves, so they need to constantly adjust the distance from their prey, and then take hunting measures.

If the predator ’s eyes grow on both sides of the head, then although the field of vision it can see becomes wider, it needs to constantly move the eyes when judging the distance of the prey, observe the prey up, down, left and right to be accurateDetermine the distance of the prey, and after the prey moves, the predator needs to repeatedly check the distance of the prey. Because this vision can not immediately allow the predator to accurately determine the distance of the prey, the predator will lose when hunting.Many hunting opportunities, over time, this visual system gene will be eliminated by natural selection.

If the predator ’s eyes are in front of the head, and it uses binocular vision to observe the prey, then it can easily determine the distance of the prey, so no matter how the prey moves, the predator can obtain the precise accuracy of the prey in real time.Distance, so hunting efficiency will be greatly improved, and creatures using this vision can be preserved in natural selection.


The reason why the eyes of herbivores grow on both sides of the head is to obtain a wider field of vision, so that natural enemies can be found more sensitively. They don't need to know the exact position of the enemy, they just need to bury their heads and run., So they evolved to be such a visual system.

Carnivore eyes grow in front of the head, so although the field of vision is sacrificed, it can accurately determine the distance of the prey, which will help them launch an attack and improve their survival efficiency.

Arboreal eyes, like predators, grow in front of the head. This is to accurately determine the distance between branches when moving on the tree, and it is not easy for you to fall.

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