From Jonathan Webb at BBC News:
A new study reveals how crocodiles’ eyes are fine-tuned for lurking at the water surface to watch for prey.
The “fovea”, a patch of tightly packed receptors that delivers sharp vision, forms a horizontal streak instead of the usual circular spot.
This allows the animal to scan the shoreline without moving its head, according to Australian researchers.
They also found differences in the cone cells, which sense colours, between saltwater and freshwater crocs.
… This is because light conditions are different in salt and freshwater habitats, but only underwater – and the crocodiles’ eyes show corresponding tweaks.
This arrangement reflects the predator’s iconic ability to lurk with just its eyes above the water, waiting motionless for prey to wander too close to the river’s edge. More.
Fine-tuning is actually a Bad Thought unless Darwinian evolution (natural selection acting on random mutation) generates huge levels of information, not noise) is supposed to have done it.
See also: Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.
Free Royal Society B paper on “sophisticated visual system of a tiny Cambrian crustacean”
David Tyler on new Cambrian eyes discovery: “Major challenges for advocates of Darwinian gradualism”
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