In a study published in PLOS One, researchers at the Okinawa Churashima Research Center in Japan, led by Taketeru Tomita, found small teeth on the eyes of whale sharks , an easy animal. Notice with the unique spotted skin.
Scientists have discovered that the largest sharks in the world have small teeth on their eyeballs. (Photo: ISTOCK).
Whale sharks have eyeballs that protrude from the eye sockets, a trait that makes them more vulnerable. They have no eyelids, and the only known defense mechanism is that the species can turn "the entire eyeball back into the eye sockets".
Due to the limited number of individuals, using traditional methods in studying large ocean creatures such as whale sharks is difficult. In the latest study, the team took advantage of the whale sharks that were raised in aquariums, along with dead specimens. They used a variety of techniques to examine their eye protection patterns and compare them with other sharks. Findings show that whale sharks have a unique "armored eyes" .
The team said the whale shark 's eyeballs are a novel way of protecting eyes among vertebrates. According to the scientists, " the teeth that appear in the eye area are morphologically different from the teeth that grow on the skin distributed on the rest of the body."
"As far as we know, eye teeth are not found in the shark class (sharks and rays), including those closely related to whale sharks , " the researchers found. specified.
The research highlights: " Tooth in the eyes is a unique feature of whale sharks." Their findings also show that whale sharks' eyeballs can rotate and retract, giving them additional protection.
In the past, it was thought that whale sharks almost depended less on their eyesight than on other senses. However, recent findings have revealed other aspects. The researchers suggest future research should focus on other aspects of vision, including color range, visual field and sensitivity.