Why do animal eyes have pupils of different shapes?

  • M. S. Banks, W. W. Sprague, J. Schmoll, J. A. Q. Parnell, G. D. Love
  • Science Advances, August 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500391

Pupils of animal eyes

What is it about?

There is a strong correlation between the ecological niche and pupil shape in terrestrial animals. We developed two hypotheses concerning pupil shape: one for predator species with vertical-slit pupils and one for prey species with horizontally elongated pupils.

Why is it important?

The work provides answers to a question that has been asked for a long time and helps us understand how the structure of the eye can aid particular visual functions.


Professor Martin S Banks
UC Berkeley

I've been interested for a long time in how the visual system estimates distance. And this work is a satisfying outcome in that general effort.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Professor Martin S Banks