Thoughts on fish eye movement


I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fish track me with its eyes when it’s out of the water, however, underwater I’ve seen them move their eyes quite frequently. Just today, I went on a dive to the Metridium Fields (at the Breakwater, enter the water several hundred feet from the jetty, right in front of the restroom, swim out a few hundred feet, then descend on the big pipe. Follow it out until the end, then head on a bearing of 0 degrees/North) with my intern and saw many incredible critters including melibes that were larger than two of my fists put together, a huge orange/white nudibranch, tons of sunflower stars, smatterings of sea nettles (which stung the intern in the face), a giant kelp greenling, perch, rockfish, gobies, octopus, crabs, barnacles, clumps of squid eggs, and a small lingcod (just short of two feet). This lingcod, unlike the one pictured above, tracked my movements with its eyes very intently as I hovered a foot away from it. I stayed just above it for a good thirty seconds, and although it clearly knew I was there and that I was interested in it, the lingcod did not budge! Still, I wonder why the eye of a lingcod seems to stay stationary when it is out of water, vs. the quick, minute movements that the eye makes when it’s submersed. I would expect that if a lingcod was stressed out that the eye would be darting all around, above or below the water. I wonder if there’s something that prevents the fish from moving its eyes when it’s out of the water, if it does happen but I just haven’t observed it, or if there’s something else that I’m missing. In any case, lingcods have pretty cool looking eyes!

Category(s): Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *