Third Eye Compass
Biologists at the University of Ferrara in Italy have confirmed that lizards use their third eye as a sun-calibrated compass. The parietal or "third" eyes help lizards navigate their surroundings. One study put groups of Italian wall Lizards trained to climb a ledge in artificially lit rooms for one week. The lights in one room mimicked the rise and fall of day while two others were set out of sync. When the lizards were let loose in a fenced-in pool with one ledge, only the control group succeeded in climbing it. Others missed the mark, confused by the disparity between the suns location and their expectation.
Another more controversial study involved removing the eye or covering it with paint. In both cases the reptiles swam in random directions, unable to navigate at all. The findings will be published in the Journal of Experimental Biology this September 15th.
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