Supersized Squid Eyes Likely Evolved to See Whales

Supersized Squid Eyes Likely Evolved to See Whales

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A giant squid’s soccer ball-sized eyeballs are three times wider than any other animal’s, but explaining why has kept squid researchers busy. New dissections and computer models offer a lead in the mystery: The enormous peepers evolved to see bioluminescent trails of light left by sperm whales, the squids’ great predator.

Of the handful of specimens recovered, the largest eye measures more than 11 inches wide. Such enormous peepers surely excel at gathering light, and one would expect to see them in other deep-sea animals with room in their skulls. Yet the eyes of swordfish and whales, for example, top out around 3.5 inches wide, or about the size of an orange.

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