Menu

Image of the Day: Four Eyes

Ancient monitor lizards had an extra set of “eyes” on top of their heads.

Apr 3, 2018
The Scientist Staff

Reconstruction of what the extinct monitor lizard might have looked like ANDREAS LACHMANN, SENCKENBERG

During the Eocene epoch, Saniwa ensidens, extinct ancestors to living monitor lizards, perceived the world around them with four eyes, two normal eyes in their faces and two other ones atop their heads. In a study published yesterday (April 2) in Current Biology, researchers describe the pineal and parapineal organs, light-sensitive structures on the lizards’ heads that they used for orientation and to maintain circadian and annual cycles.

Similar organs are found in other vertebrates including fish and frogs, and are often called the “third eye.” Until this discovery, the evolutionary history of the third eye in these organisms and in reptiles was unclear.

“By discovering a four-eyed lizard—in which both pineal and parapineal organs formed an eye on the top of the head—we could confirm that the lizard third eye really is different from the third eye of other jawed vertebrates,” says coauthor Krister Smith, a paleoherpetologist at Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany, in a statement.

K. Smith et al., “The only known jawed vertebrate with four eyes and the bauplan of the pineal complex,” Current Biology, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.02.021, 2018.

 

September 2018

The Muscle Issue

The dynamic tissue reveals its secrets

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress, a Folsom, California based leading supplier of human biospecimens, announces the release of frozen Peripheral Blood Leukopaks. Leukopaks provide an enriched source of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with low granulocyte and red blood cells that can be used in a variety of downstream cell-based applications.

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

Vector Laboratories, a leader in the development and manufacture of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, introduces VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ – antifade mounting media that delivers significant improvements to the immunofluorescence workflow.

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Download this white paper from Bertin Technologies to learn how to extract and analyze lipid samples from various models!

Bio-Rad Launches CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin for Process Protein Purification

Bio-Rad Launches CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin for Process Protein Purification

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced the launch of two new chromatography media for process protein purification: CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin.