Herp enthusiasts are a lucky bunch, as we never need to wait too long for the next new discovery. I’m especially thrilled by those that are completely unexpected, and which change “what we know” about animals and their lives. The past few years have been especially productive, with news of Reticulated Pythons that regularly attacked people (Philippines), skin-feeding tadpoles, communal skinks, lung-less frogs and so much more (please see the articles linked below). Recently, a Waterloo University researcher was startled to discover that snake spectacles (eye-caps) contain a maze of blood vessels. These would seem to interfere with vision. Intrigued, he investigated further…and made discoveries that broke new ground in snake biology.
Eye Caps Gain New Respect
Snakes view the world through fused, transparent eye lids known as the spectacles, brille or eye-caps. Perhaps because they are shed along with the skin (please see photo), hobbyists and herpetologists alike have long considered them to be mere “goggles” that protect the eye while allowing for vision. But we know have evidence that the spectacles are dynamic structures that assist in vision, and change according to the snake’s needs. Read More »