Can animals have truly glowing eyes?

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Offline Supercryptid

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Can animals have truly glowing eyes?
« on: 01/08/2008 19:26:35 »
I know they can in principle, but I'm wondering if it is practical. I'm not talking about eyes that simply reflect light, such as in cats and dogs. I'm talking about eyes that generate their own light using bioluminescence or some other source.

I guess what makes me ask this question is the presence of glowing eyes in the monsters and aliens of folklore and Hollywood alike. Could there be any uses for such eyes? Could they be used to illuminate the environment at night like flashlights in order to provide nightvision? Could they be used for communication at a distance between members of the same species (like fireflies do)?

One of the obstacles that seems to be a problem in my view is that light generated by an eye could potentially saturate the eye's retina, making it either difficult or impossible to see. I want to know if it is possible for a creature's eyes to both glow and be able to resolve images at the same time. Perhaps if the eye generates polarized light?
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Offline atrox

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Can animals have truly glowing eyes?
« Reply #1 on: 01/08/2008 21:53:13 »
Hi there!

I donīt know if it could be possible...but I think, there is no suchs species known on earth...

But there are some fishes of the deep sea, which have organs situated under their eyes, which are able to glow.

for examlpe benthosema glaciale (some kind of ?lanternfish?) or the Diaphus-species

The last ones use the light also as a spotlight, but most lanternfish use it as a signal to other members of their own species.
Some animals use it also as a warning sign for example or as a deflection..