The Cat-Like Eyes of a Catshark

Spotted Catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula)
(João Pedro Silva (Flickr))

Like other catsharks, the small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) is named for the elongated, cat-like shape of its eyes. But all sharks have cat-like eyes—in a different way. Like cats, sharks have a layer of reflective cells behind their retina called the tapetum lucidum. This layer allows them to see better in dark and cloudy waters, in the deep sea or at night. (The small hole behind its eye is a spiracle, through which water passes to the shark's gills to allow it to breathe.)

Tags: Senses