Their Eyes Fit Their Needs
● “Nature’s eyes, I found, long ago anticipated many man-made conveniences with counterparts of venetian blinds, tinted glasses, storm windows, bifocal lenses, and windshield wipers, as well as features of the finest cameras,” wrote Constance P. Warner in the National Geographic Magazine. This widow of an eye specialist spent many years photographing the eyes of different creatures; she went on to say: “I marvel at the logic that shines through nature’s eyes. Each fits its owner alone. . . .
“The burrow-hiding prairie dog, for example, wears its eyes high upon its head and widely spaced, like many other hunted creatures. The eyes themselves can focus full circle without telltale movement. A dissected prairie dog eyeball reveals an amber-tinted lens that filters the glare of the plains. . . .
“The common eel dwells in both fresh and salt water, among stones, in mud, at times even in drying air. Its eyes roll, well protected, beneath tough, transparent picture windows, clear places in its head skin.
“The Cuban shovel-nosed toad squatting in its burrow folds its upper lid far over the lower, forming a dirt-proof seal that rivals any envelope. The Southwest’s Gila monster digs through rough sand for water and eggs of other animals. Its tiny eyes, ringed with beaded scales, are shielded by thick third eyelids that resemble heavy white satin.
“Birds have shown me nictitating membranes—third eyelids—in incredible variety of color, pattern, and texture. The hooded merganser wears a glasslike membrane appropriate to underwater pursuit of fish. The northern eider duck nuzzles the dim sea bottom for starfish, sea urchins, and other spiny food; its third lid appears waxy and opaque.
“The speedy duck hawk has a crystal-clear third lid that can take the buffeting of a 180-mile-an-hour power dive. The slower bluejay’s third lid flashes across its eye, opaque and beautifully cross-hatched; that of the American robin is streaked like onion skin.”
Anableps is a Central American fish that “rides at water level, its bulbous eyeballs separated into halves adapted to vision in air and water. These diverse media demand two focal lengths from a single lens.” This is no problem to the anableps because he has “an egg-shaped bifocal lens. Air-vision rays pass through the short dimension; water-vision rays through the long.”
Was all this excellence in optics the result of blind chance? It would be foolish to think so. Rather, it gives unmistakable evidence of intelligent design, the handiwork of God.—Prov. 20:12.