Prehistoric animals "had excellent eyesight"

Prehistoric animals "had excellent eyesight"

Animals which roamed the earth over 500 million years ago evolved at a "rapid rate" and developed amazing eyesight, according to recent research.

Experts from the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide have come to the conclusion after examining 515 million-year-old fossilised eyes found on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

The specialist found that prehistoric animals had "compound eyes", each with more than 3,000 lenses, which made them excellent predators and also enabled them to avoid capture by even bigger species.

Dr Jim Jago, a University of South Australia palaeontologist, said he did not expect to see such evolved vision in a primitive creature.

"It was a fluke, to be honest. I was cataloguing another fossil and just happened to notice this blob, it looked like an eye ... but looked a bit complex for an eye of that age," he revealed.

Commenting on the findings, palaeontologist Dr Jim Gehling, from the South Australian Museum, said it may help to shed further light on early marine creatures.

by Martin Burns

« Back to list