5 Animals with Big Eyes

All animals on planet Earth have different body designs and some parts of their bodies are designed to do a specific job. Big eyes are usually synonymous with prodigious eyesight.
5 Animals with Big Eyes
Samuel Sanchez

Reviewed and approved by the biologist Samuel Sanchez.

Written by Santiago Cardona

Last update: 18 November, 2023

Mother Nature is home to a wide variety of strange living things that really catch our eyes. Among these animals, there are many animals with large eyes, and we’ll be admiring these peculiar members of the animal world.

The sense of vision is necessary for many living beings, as being able to detect a predator a meter further away can be the difference between life and death. Next, we’re going to have a look at some animals that have strange and striking eyes.

1. The tarsier

The tarsier is a creature with a small body and long feet, with huge eyes that stand out. These haplorhine primates are solitary, nocturnal animals and their main food is snakes and birds.

Tarsiers, due to their large eyes, are considered mythical demons in some cultures. On the other hand, they’re creatures that are in danger of extinction, as their habitat is currently under threat.

A full body tarsier.

2. The ogre-faced spider

These animals with large eyes stand out for their long legs and peculiar way of hunting their prey, as they do so with the cloth they build under their legs. For this reason, they’ve also earned the name of web-throwing spiders. They adapt to the darkness of the night – thanks to their huge eyes – and can be found in Africa, Australia and America.

An ogre-faced spider.

3. Dragonflies

These animals with large eyes are extremely interesting, as their ocular vision is compound, that is, they can perceive images in low resolution. In addition, dragonflies have many other curious features:

  • They’re characterized by their multifaceted eyes, accompanied by two pairs of transparent wings and a slim body.
  • They eat bees, butterflies, and moths.
  • Its lives on the banks of rivers, lakes, and swamps.
  • This little animal doesn’t sting humans despite what some believe. Rather, they’re valuable allies of our species, because they control the mosquito population.
  • Its optical illusion is a tool to stalk other insects. They move in a peculiar way to appear static and thus hunt their prey.
Dragonflies are one of the animals with the largest eyes.

4. The vampire squid

This is a cephalopod that lives in the depths of the sea. It has the largest eyes in the animal kingdom, as they are 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in diameter, compared to a body size of 30 centimeters (12 inches) in length. It has 8 arms, black skin, and there are others that are reddish in color.

The shapes of their eyes are limpid and globular, blue or red. In the same way, their eyes serve as a lighting tool in deep, dark waters. The dark color of its body and a cloak in the form of a cape – which is part of its very body structure – is what gives this animal the name of vampire squid.

A vampire squid seen from below.

5. The toad of the Sonora desert

These large-eyed animals have smooth, shiny fur, adorned with white spots. They’re reputed to secrete a highly potent poison that could kill a large mammal, such as a cat, for example. It’s a creature that was described by the French zoologist Charles Frédéric Girard, in 1895.

This toad is on the Red List as a species ‘of least concern (LC)’, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It’s an amphibian species with a stable population, something very rare in a time when climate change is increasingly taking its toll.

One of the most poisonous toads.

The mission of animal eyes

The eyes of every animal are a powerful tool, helping them to successfully perform their functions within nature. Certain creatures’ eyes do the same job as the human eye, such as an octopus’s, while others use them for functions that go beyond vision.

Eyes are a communication tool in most cases and, in other circumstances, they act as camouflage and are even tools to survive in external environments, such as absolute darkness. Without a doubt, animals with large eyes have an evolutionary advantage over others: they can see further, and, at the same time, communicate through their mesmerizing gaze.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.