Contact: Elisabeth (Lisa) Lyons
Caption: Itís no surprise that giant and colossal squid are big, but itís their eyes that are the real standouts when it comes to size, with diameters measuring two or three times that of any other animal. Now, researchers reporting online on March 15 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have used complex computations to explain those massive peepers. Giant squidsí 10-inch eyes allow them to see very large and hungry sperm whales from a distance in the pitch darkness of their deep-sea home. According to the researchersí calculations, animals living underwater would have no use for such large eyes if the goal were to see an average object, such as prey smaller than themselves. Thatís why even the eyes of large whales arenít much more than 3.5 inches across.
Credit: Nilsson et al.: ďA unique advantage for giant eyes in giant squid.Ē Current Biology
Usage Restrictions: Under Embargo until 12 Noon ET on Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Related news release: Giant squids' giant eyes: The better to see hungry whales with