15 Fascinating Animals With Biggest Eyes (+Pics)

The list of creatures known for their vast and often adorable eyes is practically endless. Big eyes on the face look impressive as well as serve essential functions for animals in the wild. Animals on this exclusive list with big eyes are adorable, furry, strange, and of course, unique simultaneously. 

In this article, we have listed only 15 animals with big eyes among mammals, reptiles and amphibians out of countless animals in wildlife.

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15 Fascinating Animals With Biggest Eyes

1. Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni)

According to researchers, the Colossal Squid has the largest eyes ever discovered in the animal kingdom. They measure a whopping 27cm (11 inches) in diameter, roughly the size of a soccer ball and bigger than the average human head! As a result, the Colossal Squid has the largest eyes on the planet. In addition, they are one of the largest animals on the earth, with an enormous body measuring nearly 40 meters long.

Their eyes are best suited for deep sea vision, where there is no sunlight. However, their large eyes help them use the tiniest light available by jellyfish and crustaceans that flash using it to spot their predators, mostly the sperm whale.

2. Owls (Strigidae sp.)

Usually, an owl might be the first one that comes to mind when we think of big-eyed animals. They are known for their large eyes that allow them to see at night and hunt. 

Owls are one of the finest nocturnal hunters with binocular or stereoscopic vision due to their large forward-facing eyes. They have abundant rod cells, which are responsible for their night vision. The pupils are large enough to allow even the faintest of lights, thus providing them with excellent night vision.

Owls’ eyes account for nearly 3% of their entire body weight. However, these adorable creatures can’t move their eyes easily and must swivel their heads. They can turn their heads 180 degrees, thereby achieving a 360-degree vision.

3. Swordfish (Xiphias gladius)

The Swordfish is one of the animals with big eyes in the ocean. With eyeballs measuring up to 4 inches, eyes are significantly modified for vision to suit the deep-blue, cold ocean waters.

Their eye muscles generate heat, making the blood flowing in the eyes warm and catching the motion of fast-moving prey. In addition, their visual response is so high that they can easily track extremely fast preys, even in the dim underwater.

4. Horse (Equus ferus)

The horse is another terrestrial animal whose eyes rank up to one of the largest on the planet. The horse’s eyes measure nearly 2-3 inches in diameter, almost eight times larger than an average human eye, giving them high visual acuity

Animals like horses that run very fast generally have large eyes that help prevent collisions with objects in their path, especially when moving at high speeds. 

5. Potto (Perodicticus edwardsi)

Like the owl, the Potto has large eyes to help with its night vision. This allows them to see even in low light, searching for their prey. Pottos, in this list of animals with big eyes, is a relatively uncommon animal, one of the primitive primates on the planet.

Pottos’ eyes are broadly rounded, occupying a significant portion of their skull. Large eyes help these nocturnal beings look for fruits, berries, and insects.

6. Slow Loris (Nycticebus sp.)

The Slow Loris, also called Kukang, is another big-eyed primate on this list. The first noticeable thing when encountering these small endangered animals is their large rounded front-facing eyes which occupy a large portion of their head and are quite distinct compared to their small size.

It is the only venomous primate on earth. Slow Loris is a nocturnal hunter with enhanced night vision, where big eyes come into play. They capture the maximum light available to detect their prey. 

7. Tarsier (Carlito sp.)

Tarsiers are predator, nocturnal, carnivorous primates found in forests of Southern Asia. Tarsiers may be one of the smallest primates on the planet, but their relatively large eyes are worth mentioning. Their eyes may be small but nearly 1.6-1.7 cm in diameter, larger than their brain.

They look adorable with huge eyes. The Tarsier got the largest eyes of any mammal that help them hunt lizards, insects and birds. However, despite having excellent night vision that amplifies the slightest of light, they need help to see most colors.

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8. Lemurs (Lemuroidea)

The Lemur is one of the famous big-eyed nocturnal beings. Lemurs have large eyes concerning their skulls. In addition, lemurs have tiny snouts and small bodies, which make their eyes appear even larger.

Their eye color is bright yellow or blue, and they lack a fovea, distinguishing them from other creatures. These are dichromatic beings and are blind to long-wavelength colors like red.

This primate from Madagascar, Africa, has a great night vision of any animal on this list. Their large front-facing eyes give them wide binocular or stereoscopic vision. Enhanced sight helps catch its prey easier than most nocturnal primates.

 9. Tree Frogs (Agalychnis callidryas)

The Tree Frog found in the rainforests of Central America is the amphibian on this list with big eyes. Certain Tree Frogs, especially the Red-eyed Tree Frogs,have bright red bulging eyes that appear quite large considering their tiny body size.

These are nocturnal beings and are, therefore, highly dependent on their eyes for survival. These bright-colored bulging eyes help the frog to startle the predators for a few seconds, giving them enough time to escape. In addition, three eyelids contribute to their extraordinary vision and expert hunting skills.

10. Dragonflies (Ictinogomphus rapax)

The Dragonfly, with its huge eyes, probably has one of the largest and the most compound eyes in the entire insect kingdom. Their head is enormous in comparison to their body. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the top insect predators due to its great vision covering almost 360 degrees. Some species of Dragonflies have perfect vision even in low light.

The eye of a dragonfly is composed of nearly 30,000-minute telescopic ommatidia, which collectively gives them a high visual acuity. This helps them highly while capturing prey mid-flight hovering at high speeds. In addition, their large eyes help them spot predators and escape on time.

11. Mantis Shrimp (Stomatopoda)

The Mantis Shrimp has excellent vision, with one of the unique compound eyes occupying a significant portion of the head of any animal in the world. Their eyes are on the side of their head, bulging outwards. Their large eyes and coloring may look impressive, but they tend to be one of the more aggressive animals on this list. 

Human eyes only have three coloring receptors, whereas Mantis have as many as 16 photoreceptor cells to perceive visible, UV, and polarized light. Moreover, the Mantis Shrimp can move each eye independently of the other, so they can function even after losing one sight.

12. Chameleons (Chamaeleoninae sp.)

There are over 150 Chameleon species found across Africa and Asia, and they are best known for their ability to change colors to camouflage. However, they’re also known as a species of big-eyed reptiles. These slow-moving lizards have large bulging eyes capable of independent 360-degree rotation like a mantis.

Chameleons are also one of the most visually dependent predators. Their eyes can rotate 90 degrees vertically and 180 degrees horizontally, allowing them an expansive panoramic view changing to monocular or binocular. As a result, they can spot insects from far away. Additionally, their extendable tongues make them great bug hunters.

Their eye slit might be small, but the overall visual organ gives them a place on this Animals with Big Eyes list.

13. Ostrich (Struthionidae camelus)

The Ostrich holds the largest eyes of any terrestrial animal. They have eyes with a diameter of two inches, measuring almost like a pool ball’s size, and five times larger than humans. The eyes are so big that it hardly leaves much room for the brain. As a result, the bird can spot objects as far as two miles in the daytime

That keen eyesight of the Ostrich protects them from predators. Furthermore, their large eyes with even large eyelashes help them spot predators from great distances, up to 3-4 km away. Also, with a speed of 45 miles an hour, the Ostrich gets a good headstart!

14. Zebra Black Spider (Salticus scenicus)

This is one of the smallest animals on the planet, with short legs and white stripes on a black body. The zebra back spider has large eyes compared to the rest of the body. They are the most prominent things on their faces and tend to be completely dark.

The Zebra Back Spider has 8 eyes; two large main eyes are located at the center of their head, providing binocular vision, and the remaining six are on the side of their head. This eye position allows these bugs to see 360 degrees, with a panoramic view of their surroundings.

15. Dog (Canis familiaris or Canis lupus familiaris)

Many dog lovers can’t resist the Big-Eyed gaze of dogs. The dog’s eyes are around the size of a human with a larger cornea, resulting in a bigger iris that helps your pooch give incredibly expressive stares. The tapetum lucidium – a layer in the eye that reflects light makes the dog’s eyes shine at night. In addition, a dog’s pupil can dilate or open to a larger diameter than a person’s and the lens measures three-to-four times that of a human.

Pugs have the largest eyes of the various dog breeds, in general. But a Boston terrier named Bruschi is the dog with the biggest eyes globally, as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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Here, we come to the end of our article, Top 15 Animals with Big Eyes in the World. We will bring many more elaborate pieces belonging to a diverse catalog of the animal kingdom in the future. Keep reading!

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.