If you’ve ever been close to our sheep here, you might’ve notice they have the horizontal rectangle shape. Animals like sheep and goats are prey species and in the wild they need to see all around them to avoid and evade predators. The horizontal shape gives them a panoramic view of their surroundings so they can move on rough terrain, like mountain goats, while still being aware of any danger.
If you have a house cat or have seen a snake, you probably noticed that they have vertical pupils. This eye shape is ideal for small ambush animals that need judge how far away their prey is and how far they have to pounce or strike. This shape is only effective for animals whose eyes/heads are close to the ground. You can see this pupil shape in ocelots and alligators too.
Now I know what you’re thinking if house cats and ocelots have vertical pupils so should larger cats like lions and tigers? Well the bigger cats are higher up from the ground so the vertical pupils wouldn’t be advantageous for them. They also will chase around their prey, like a lion and a zebra, instead of pouncing or ambushing. Round pupils are also found in wolves, bearded dragons and humans.
So now if you are looking at an animal and want to know where in the food chain they are, looking at their eyes can give you some major hints! Come to Sheep Pasture to look at our animals and the wild animals that live here to see if they are predator or prey!