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Online exhibits : Special exhibits : Secrets of the Stomatopod

Secrets of the Stomatopod: An Underwater Research Adventure

Here's Looking at You!

The eyes of some groups of stomatopods are probably the most complex in the animal kingdom.

Stomatopod eyes are unusual for several reasons:

  • they have stereo vision with just one eye;
  • each eye is up on a stalk, with a wide range of motion;
  • stomatopods have up to 16 visual pigments (in contrast, we humans have three—red, blue, and yellow);
  • stomatopods can also see ultra-violet and infra-red light, and some can even see polarized light.

Find out more about two very interesting features of stomatopod vision: the arrangement of their eyes, and the ability to see polarized light.

Closeup of eyes

A close-up view of the thousands of visual elements in stomatopod eyes.

Stomatopod eyes

The compound eyes of a stomatopod are elevated on movable stalks.