10 Animals With Small Eyes

One thing you might notice when looking at some animals like pandas and pigs is that they have relatively small eyes. This is due to several factors, including the animal’s evolutionary history and role in the ecosystem.

If you’re wondering which animals have the smallest eyes, here are ten of them.

1. Panda

Pandas’ eyes are small and unique. Large round black spots surround each eye, making them look even smaller. Pandas’ eyesight is not the best because they spend most of the day sleeping, but they make up for it with their excellent sense of smell.

Research by Stankowich said that the pandas’ eye patches differ in shape and size, and previous research has suggested that it corresponds with how dominant the bear behaves. Not only do the patches distinguish each panda, but they also help them recognize one another.

2. Guinea Pigs

These small, furry mammals have cute eyes and their fluffiness makes their eyes even smaller. Guinea pigs have good vision and can see color, unlike some rodents who can only see in black and white.

They have very poor depth perception, only seeing up to 3-5 feet distant before their vision becomes increasingly hazy. Although sight is not their strongest sense, guinea pigs can distinguish some colors much higher than dogs and cats.

3. Opossums

These marsupials have long snouts and tiny eyes, which are black and beady. Opossums have better eyesight than humans during nighttime hours. They’ve also got a special light organ called a tapetum lucidum, which aids them in seeing in low-light situations.

These animals’ eyes also contain a layer of cells called melanocytes, which produce eumelanin pigment. These cells, when exposed to UV radiation, generate pheomelanin (a pigment that gives the animal its distinctive brown hue). Their eyes are surely small, but they’re also full of fascinating features.

4. Pigs

Have you noticed that pigs have small eyes? The average eye diameter of a domestic pig is 2.5 cm. Pigs and humans share some similarities in their eyes, such as pupils, irises, corneas, and eyelids. 

Pigs also have poor depth perception and can only see things that are close to them. They have a dichromatic vision or only two pigment-carrying cones that work together to produce color. A pig’s view of the world is less detailed than a human’s, but it can still distinguish colors.

5. American Shrew Moles

The American shrew mole is the smallest mole specie, and its eyes are practically too small to see! This rare creature can be found in the northwest of the United States and southwestern British Columbia in moist, wooded, or bushy environments with deep, soft soil.

The three middle claws on its front paws are extended, and skin almost completely encloses its eyes. They have a similar sleep pattern to humans, including rapid eye movement (REM) periods. It is thought that the reason they go into deep sleep phases is that they are less likely to be harmed than other animals.

6. Snakes

Snakes have long been the subject of fear and fascination. One of the things that makes them so intriguing is their small eyes. While this might seem like a disadvantage, snakes have adapted to make the most of their limited vision.

Their eyes are placed on the sides of their head, giving them a wide field of view. This helps them to spot prey and avoid predators. Additionally, snakes can have vertical pupils. They provide a greater horizontal depth of field, but they still allow enough light into the eye for night vision.

7. Bachia Lizards

This slimy creature resembles a snake. Their eyes are tiny, and they don’t have external ear holes. They are an uncommon sight, but their use of subterranean nests hints at their presence. They frequently hunt termites and ant colonies in the ground.

8. Ranchu Goldfish

The cutest fish on this list, the Ranchu goldfish is a domesticated form of goldfish. It has a distinctive humpback and tiny eyes that sit close to the top of its head. This unique appearance has made it a popular pet fish.

Their eyes are almost covered by scales, which gives them a limited field of view. Owners usually have some of the scales removed to improve the fish’s vision and avoid eye problems.

9. Colobus Monkeys

These arboreal monkeys are found throughout Africa. They have long tails and black fur with white patches. Aside from its beautiful color, one of the most distinctive features of the Colobus monkey is its small eyes.

More eyes mean a higher likelihood of detecting dangers. Colobus monkeys sleep in shifts. During the night, at least one group member stays on duty to guard against predators.

10.   Pygmy Marmosets

The smallest monkey in the world is the Pygmy Marmoset. It has a black-ringed tail and white flecks on its cheeks, with a white line running vertically between its eyes. Their average weight is just over 100 grams, with the only difference between males and females being that females weigh slightly more.

They might have small bodies and small eyes, but They are known for their strong claws and hooked toes, which they use to attach themselves to trees and other branches. They also have several arboreal adaptations, including the ability to turn their heads 180 degrees and sharp clawlike nails that aid in climbing.

Final Thoughts

There are many animals in the world with small eyes. Each one is fascinating in its own way and contributes to the diversity of life on Earth. They may have small eyes, but they are all important members of their ecosystems.

Bachia Lizards Image by: Esteban Alzate, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons