Learn How an Insect’s Compound Eyes Work from the Optometry Experts at the Optometrists’ Clinic

Not all eyes are made equal. Among humans, there is a huge variance in sight ability and special concerns. From colour blindness to depth perception and visibility, there is no way to truly know how another person sees the world. You may be able to swap eyeglasses for an idea, but it will not give you the full picture when it comes to differences in visual function. When you compare across species, it becomes easier to recognize differences and more difficult to imagine the experience.


Insects, for example, have evolved compound eyes. Studies have led scientists to believe that these small creatures’ eyes have evolved inverse to other species. Rather than photoreceptors bending inwards, like a human’s concave lenses, their eyes are thought to have continually bent outwards during their formation, in a convex direction. As time went on, the advantage of multiple “eyes” and lenses led to the evolution of the compound eye. This interesting structure allows insects to see in multiple directions and a wider scope than human eyes.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Compound Eyes


Learn more about compound eyes by reading below and visit your Edmonton optometrist to find out more about your own ocular health:


1. Range: An insect’s field of view is huge compared to their size. For example, dragonflies, who have very large eyes compared to their bodies, only have their sightline interrupted by the blind spot created by their body. 


2. Dual Vision: Despite their size, insects get a lot of information from their advanced eyes. They can differentiate between dark, light, and colour. This is especially useful for pollinating insects like bees, who need to be able to discern between a bud, mature flower, and dying bloom.

3. Resolution: Not every aspect of compound eyes is superior to our vision. While humans can make out tiny details, insects’ resolving power is small by comparison. Details get lost even if they are close up, and the world is mostly perceived in outlines.


Never ones to be satisfied with just hearing about how insects experience the world, humans can get an idea using their fish eye camera lenses. While it is not exactly the same as a compound eye, we can start to appreciate how a space may look for a small bug flying though. The major differences include the camera’s limited 180-degree field, since many bugs get almost a complete 360-degree perspective without the distortion that occurs on the edges of the lens.


Learn more about your own vision and eye health with a comprehensive eye exam in Edmonton. From contact lenses to fashionable eyewear, there are lots of options for you to see clearly and comfortably. Visit your Edmonton optometrist for a regular assessment and to learn more about your options for the best vision possible. At The Optometrists’ Clinic Inc. we have a wide selection of eyeglasses and treatments to solve any eye ailment or vision concerns you have. We won’t be able to give you 360 degree vision, but we can help you see in 20-20. Rely on our experienced professionals for everything from contacts to optical diagnoses in Edmonton.


Discover a variety of eye care options. Contact us online or visit one of our convenient locations in Edmonton to book your eye exam.



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