Why do animal species vary so much in the shape of pupils in their eyes?

Un bellissimo articolo che spiega la forma delle pupille

Why Evolution Is True

Here’s a picture of some animal pupils from National Public Radio. The website showed them because they’re the subject of a new paper by M. S. Banks et al. in Sciences Advances(reference below; free download). The paper asks an interesting question: why do the pupils of vertebrate species vary so widely in shape? (Supplementary material, including database and movies, can be found here.)

animal-eyes_wide-c0e3de69f408d53b9ee8234c6ce62a781084cb55-s800-c85 (From NPR): Can you guess which eyes belong to what animal? Top row, from left: cuttlefish, lion, goat. Bottom row, from left: domestic cat, horse, gecko. Top row: iStockphoto; bottom row: Flickr

Now the paper is long and complicated, with lots of simulations and math, but the upshot is pretty simple: animals tend to have vertical pupils if they are nocturnal “ambush” predators and aren’t too tall, while animals that have horizontal pupils tend to be prey that need to detect predators approaching them and also…

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