Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Here's looking at you, kid!

Matt MacQueen took this beautiful closeup of a juvenile alligator eye. Matt and I both did some research to see what caused the unusual eyeball pattern and came up with zilch, so we asked Blair Witherington what he thought. Blair opined that it was not related to the age of the gator so much as it was to the amount of outside light being reflected back out of the inside of the alligator's eye, back-lighting the maze of blood vessels in the eye. (If you search on alligator eyeballs, you get hits for one of my favorite sayings - When you're up to your eyeballs in alligators, it's hard to remember that your objective is to drain the swamp!)

That explanation is good enough for me, and I know I love the photo. (Click to enlarge)


Anonymous said...

There may be some amount of scientific explanation in the book _System of Ophthalmology_ available here:

Check out the section starting at Page 375 and Plate VIII.

Florida Beach Basics said...

Dear Anonymous - many thanks for the link - I've requested pages 375-390. They have not arrived yet, but when they do, I'll share the information. (The site does not display well on my monitor, but what I did read looks interesting and pertinent.) marge