Whale Shark Eyes


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Although a whale shark is the largest of all fish, this giant creature has small eyes in comparison to its size. So how well can they actually see?

A whale shark’s eyes are located behind the angle of the jaw on its broad head. And while a whale shark lacks eyelids, it can close its eyes, rotate them, and even draw them back into its head for protection.

Whale shark eyes have a cornea, iris, lens and retina – but they also feature a unique mirror behind the retina that increases their sensitivity to low-light environments (similar to a domestic cat).

Whale sharks spend much of their time in the ocean’s abyss, but some experts believe that they can see fairly well in the darkness, whether or not they depend on their sense of sight for feeding.

Learn more about whale sharks and plan a visit to observe one of these gentle giants up close and personal.


Photo Credit: Dr. Alistair Dove, Georgia Aquarium.