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Guy Asks Why Dragons Have Eyes On The Sides Of Their Heads If They Are Predators, A Tumblr User Gives A Scientific Explanation
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Animals, Entertainment2 years ago

Guy Asks Why Dragons Have Eyes On The Sides Of Their Heads If They Are Predators, A Tumblr User Gives A Scientific Explanation

Once you filter out all of the fake news, annoying ads, and relentless trolls, the internet becomes a truly amazing place. The idea of it being the ultimate compendium of knowledge alone shows just how awesome it is. What makes it so darn special on a whole new level, though, is the fact that people gather here to ask the questions nobody ever really needed answers to, but now that someone did venture down that road, we suddenly require that knowledge.

Enter Tumblr user galahadwilder and his thought-provoking suggestion on dragon evolution. He works his way up from the assumption that dragons, serpentine legendary creatures that breathe fire, have eyes on the side of their heads, which is generally considered a feature of a prey species, not a predator. However, in reality (well, all right, in fantasy), dragons are nowhere near prey status because of their size and the fact that they are omnivorous, fire-breathing, gargantuan beasts. So, what gives?

Another Tumblr user by the nickname of pyrrhiccomedy responded to this inquiry by dropping some knowledge on the topic. Now, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill internet blabber, but rather a proper scientific response that we invite you to read below.

More info: galahadwilder.tumblr.com

A Tumblr user threw out an idea into the internet about dragons actually being prey and not predators

Image credits: Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark

Image credits: Daniel Schwen

His argument’s based on the idea that dragons have eyes on the side, a trait typical of most prey animals

Image credits: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

Image credits: galahadwilder

Galahadwilder based his ideas on the assumption that predators have eyes on the front, like wolves, so that they can target their prey and dash forward for the kill.

Likewise, prey have eyes on the side so that they can better spot danger coming in and always be alert with their wider optic angle.

So, since a dragon has its eyes on the sides, does this make it… the prey? After all, that is a prey characteristic, right? Well, not quite. And Tumblr user pyrrhiccomedy steps in to explain below.

Another Tumblr user stepped in to correct and elaborate on this assumption, and people loved it

He explained that eye positioning isn’t based on the animal’s role but rather on their nature and environment

Pyrrhiccomedy gives a detailed explanation of why a dragon’s eye placement is the way it is. First, apart from pesky knights in shining armor, dragons are most likely to be attacked by other dragons. Just like fish, dragons would need to worry more about being attacked from any direction when in flight.

Also, they don’t really need binocular vision as they don’t rely heavily on depth perception. Their primary attack is their fire breath, and, as such, this “flamethrower” isn’t really a weapon of accuracy. They don’t need precision and it doesn’t matter if it’s from 5 meters or 20 meters away that they char their foes.

After all, some predators benefit more from seeing a wide angle as opposed to a narrow angle of vision

Thus, because of their predators and fire breath, dragons benefit more from seeing like a fish rather than a wolf

Image credits: pyrrhiccomedy

So, there you have it, folks. You probably never needed to know this, but now you do, and you’re better for it. What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree or not? Let us know in the comments below!

Here’s what the internet had to say in response to this

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Hazel Waring
Community Member
2 years ago

I am genuinely going to use this example to introduce evolution and adaptations for my A level Biology students next term. Brilliant - go nerds!

Cliff Newman
Community Member
2 years ago

I'm genuinely going to use it in D&D :D

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me
Community Member
2 years ago

Some dragons in How to Train Your Dragon have monocular vision and some have binocular.

Hazel Waring
Community Member
2 years ago

I actually think this is a great example (and everyone get off your flipping high horses of which fiction is "more real" than other fiction, jeez). If there are overlaps of monocular and binocular vision it's an interesting case of reduced survival pressures such as inter-dragon aggression meaning different adaptations can evolve.

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Michael Franklin
Community Member
2 years ago

Once again, people fall to the assumption "if it looks like a reptile, it must be one". Not all dragons are depicted with the eyes on the sides of their heads. Some even have human eyes (Eustace) and can shed tears. All evolutionary theories go out the window with dragons. Dare I say I'm the only one that believes dragons can talk and read?

Jim Ellington
Community Member
2 years ago

Dragon lineage split off from the rest of animals long ago, as evinced by their six limbs.

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Hazel Waring
Community Member
2 years ago

I am genuinely going to use this example to introduce evolution and adaptations for my A level Biology students next term. Brilliant - go nerds!

Cliff Newman
Community Member
2 years ago

I'm genuinely going to use it in D&D :D

Load More Replies...
me
Community Member
2 years ago

Some dragons in How to Train Your Dragon have monocular vision and some have binocular.

Hazel Waring
Community Member
2 years ago

I actually think this is a great example (and everyone get off your flipping high horses of which fiction is "more real" than other fiction, jeez). If there are overlaps of monocular and binocular vision it's an interesting case of reduced survival pressures such as inter-dragon aggression meaning different adaptations can evolve.

Load More Replies...
Michael Franklin
Community Member
2 years ago

Once again, people fall to the assumption "if it looks like a reptile, it must be one". Not all dragons are depicted with the eyes on the sides of their heads. Some even have human eyes (Eustace) and can shed tears. All evolutionary theories go out the window with dragons. Dare I say I'm the only one that believes dragons can talk and read?

Jim Ellington
Community Member
2 years ago

Dragon lineage split off from the rest of animals long ago, as evinced by their six limbs.

Load More Replies...
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