Staring into the Beautiful Cold-Blooded Eyes of Reptiles

Michele Collet
Michele Collet
Scribol Staff
Environment, January 06, 2012
  • The eyes of lizards and other reptiles are often thought of as beady. Perhaps it’s because of the cold-blooded nature of such creatures. Yet, if you take time to observe them closely, you’ll find that they are among nature’s most beautiful creations. We’ve found 12 amazing images of reptilian eyes to prove it!

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  • Looking at this chameleon’s eye might offer insight into the idea behind eye make-up. The soft blues and yellows on its eyelid are more attractive than some of the most expensive powders available! The scaly eyelids of chameleons are cone-shaped, and only the pupil really shows through in the circular opening created.

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  • This stunning eye belongs to a Tokay gecko. These particular geckos are nocturnal and have slit pupils set in large eyes – the color of which range from brown through greenish brown to yellow and orange. In many species of gecko, the iris is the same color as the body, which serves as a camouflage, even in bright sunlight.

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  • This beautiful eye doesn’t need any surrounding color to set it off. The stunning red is captivating enough! The vision of reptiles tends to be adapted to accommodate daylight, with color and depth perception more sophisticated than those of mammals. Nocturnal reptiles have smaller eyes than their diurnal cousins but larger pupils.

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  • This Bronchocela cristatella, or Green Crested Lizard, has a truly spectacular eye. Circled by a beige ring, the pupil is highlighted in much the same way dark eyeliner accentuates women’s eyes. The green eyelids and scaly skin make it stand out even more dramatically. One of Mother Nature’s subtle but beautiful effects.

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  • Again we stare back at a small, pinpoint chameleon’s eye that is brought out by the pastel shades surrounding it. Chameleons have 360-degree vision, with each eye able to move and focus separately. They can thus look at two different objects simultaneously.

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  • This Green Tree Monitor Lizard has a pair of the most beautiful eyes in this collection. Monitor lizards have sharp vision, with large, round pupils that let in a lot of light, here set in a reddish sclera.

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  • The spectacled caiman is so named because of the bony ridge between its eyes, which makes it looks like it is wearing a pair of spectacles. As you can see from this image, the eyes are set high on the caiman’s head, presumably so that they can see above water when the rest of its body is underneath the surface; much like alligators.

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  • This is the eye of a Lesser Antillean Iguana, a species found in the archipelago from which it derives its name. The chocolate flecks surrounding the iris, set off by the incredible green and yellow hues of the animal’s scaly skin, make this a ’10′ in our book.

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  • For those of you who love the beauty of deep indigo blues, this Australian bearded dragon lizard is for you. Lizards can see in color; in fact, the cones in the eyes of many species allow them see beyond the spectrum of human vision, into the UV range.

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  • This soft and beautiful eye of the bearded dragon is not the only kind of eye it possesses. It also has a specialized scale on top of its head, known as a third or parietal eye, which is photosensitive. This will react to shadows to let the ‘beardie’ know if there is a threat from above.

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  • Our last beauty is a Brazilian lizard, Enyalius iheringii whose large round pupil is brilliantly contrasted with its green scales, which look to be covered in water droplets. Lovely.

    Sources: 1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

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