The horse with the biggest eyes in the animal kingdom! Info or intox ?


Poison ! Horses don’t have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom.

Where could this funny idea come from?

The idea that horses have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom can be explained in particular by the importance that human beings give to gaze. Our perception is not objective and can vary from one person to another. And anthropomorphism often gets involved: we attribute to animals emotions and intentions that are ours but which often have no meaning when compared to the universe of the animals in question. Thus, someone who is afraid of horses or who is not comfortable with them may overinvest their gaze and thus find that they are particularly big.

What is the horse’s vision?

Horses have eyes adapted to their herbivorous lifestyle. Thanks to the lateral positioning of their eyes and their elongated pupil, horses benefit from a particularly wide field of vision corresponding to approximately 340°. Their binocular vision allows them to estimate the relative distance of objects by raising their necks.

On each side, monocular vision allows them to quickly distinguish anything that is moving, an essential ability to detect danger.

The horse also has blind spots which are located just behind the rump and under its nose, when its head is raised. This explains the presence of long hairs on the chin and around the eyes, the vibrissae, which give them information beyond vision.

The horse in the dark

The horse has good vision in the dark because, in the wild, nocturnal grazing represents 20 to 50% of daily grazing time. However, the horse will have slow accommodation and will struggle during rapid variations in lighting.

It is for this reason that the horse may be reluctant when it comes to bringing him into a dark place (stable, van or truck) or when we want to make him work in a place where the light is very variable.

Animals with the largest eyes generally relate to animals that need highly developed vision. These include birds of prey such as eagles or owls, or certain species of fish and reptiles.

The horse does have some anatomical particularities

The question of organ size is an astonishing one. The mechanism of natural selection leads living organisms to adopt the expression that is most adapted to the perpetuation of the species. Also, horses have internal organs of a size proportionate to their anatomy and their physiological needs. However, we can talk about two anatomical characteristics.

The horse’s stomach is unique in that it is divided into two parts: the glandular stomach and the non-glandular stomach. This allows them to efficiently digest the large amount of fiber in their diet of grass and hay. The large intestine of horses is also special. It is suitable for the microbial fermentation of plant fibers.

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