Not pray!! Prey

Anyway I remember hearing in the past that the way to tell the difference between animals that are predators and those that are prey is by the position of the eyes.

Predator’s eyes face forward and the eyes of the prey are on the sides of their head. The advantage for the predator being better depth perception and for the prey being better peripheral vision.

It makes perfect sense and I really have not been able to think of an aniimal that refutes this theory.(There’s gotta be at least one!)

So Doper’s is there an animal that refutes this?

American robin

That’s probably too sweeping of a statement. Most animals are both predator and prey. Only a lucky few are at the tippy-top of their food chain with nothing left to prey on them.

In general the animal will be built in a fashion that best suits the hunting of whatever it is they eat and that could take a great many forms.

Okay, robins don’t count, since they are technicaly both predator and prey.

Here is a new one:

Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

giant squid?
sharks & other fish
other non-raptor birds like the robin
It seems to be a rule of thumb for land mammals.

oops, ameoba are not part of the animal kingdom. my bad.

Sweeping yes,

carnivore vs. herbivore maybe??

Either way the basic point being that humans, bears, lions etc are predators.

Deer are not.
The squids a good one and so are a lot of fish(Bluegills)

Be careful of animals whose eyes are positioned wide on their head yet still face forward.

Phobos, IIRC, giant squid are preyed upon by sperm whales, and many sharks, fish, spiders, and ameobas are also preyed upon.

And actually, it’s a food “circle”, without a top, or to be even more precise, a huge mass of small, thin, tangled, delicate strings that form a huge spherical jumble that has sunlight shining on the green side. The great white shark, however, is not preyed upon while alive (ignoring human beings). It’s devoured after it dies.

Not sure, but…

I think that mammals are the only group of (Living) animals that have the particular trait of both eyes facing forward at all.

So, obviously, birds, fish, reptiles, insects, etc would serve to refute the original statement that all predators have forward facing eyes. (Assuming I’m not misinformed about my premise, of course…)

I’d be interested, though, in finding out if it applies to all mammalian predators.

Oh my God! When did owls (For one.) go extinct?!

Interesting that so many acquatic animals were pointed out so quickly. I’d imagine one reason the relation doesn’t hold there is that vision is pretty limited under water. Sharks are much more dependant on their electrical senses, for instance.

Owls are interesting, too. Their eye placement also helps their hearing. It’s set up so that if they hear a noise equally in both ears, they’re looking directly at the source.

What about eagles, hawks, etc? I’m having trouble picturing one in my mind well enough to tell the position of their eyes. I think they’re forward-placed, too, though.

Interesting theory I hadn’t really thought about…

I think everyone is getting a little caught up with this whole “Every predator is really someone else’s prey” thing. I think the OP is referring to what is traditionally thought of as a hunting carnivore. Even if this is true, certainly I would expect the ongoing process of evolution to be such that an animal might fill a new niche allowing it to be a “predator” before the selective pressure would occur that would lead it have an eyes-forward physique. In fact, if what everyone is saying is true (i.e. all predators are also prey) then selective pressure of being prey would favor eye positioning towards the sides.

In short, I suspect that “predators” that have their eyes forward are those that are fast and can avoid being prey themselves (i.e. birds) whereas others where perhaps they can’t escape as well have eyes on the side (i.e. fish). The perfect animal, of course, then must be the puffer fish since it has those cool in-between eyes that can move independently.

Smeghead, yes. Birds of prey have binocular vision (forward-facing eyes). That includes hawks, eagles, falcons, caracaras, etc.

Intresting note on some owls: their ears are located on different heights on the head and are shaped differently. That results in a bigger difference between both ears, and thus an increased ability to dectect the location of the sound source. Not only that, but the ears are on both sides of the head, so they have one on the left and one on the right!

Yarster, not all predators are also prey to something else (assuming we are not including immatures). But all are devoured by carrion eaters after they die. For example: the osprey has no animal that might eat it.

The osprey has no animal that might kill and eat it. There are feather mites, ticks, etc.

Hmmm…a bass has more foward-set eyes than other fish. They need depth perception for the ambush-type hunting they do.

Whew! Somebody FINALLY said the secret words–“depth perception”.

Sledman, anything that needs to jump and catch something to eat needs depth perception. Depth perception is what you get with two eyes facing frontwards, with binocular vision. It doesn’t have anything to do with mammal/reptile/bird, it has to do with what it eats. If it eats something that likely to jump two feet to the left when pounced upon, then it’s going to have eyes facing front, and depth perception. If it eats something that isn’t going anywhere, like grass or slow-moving insects, then it has eyes facing to the side and behind it, to watch out for the guys that DO have depth perception. Creatures like robins that pounce on things that don’t move very fast, split the difference, and have eyes sort of facing frontwards and sort of facing to the side. Hawks and owls have eyes facing front. Frogs have big bulgy eyes that look like they’re pointing to the side, but they can swivel them around to the front to give themselves depth perception.

Does a chameleon have depth perception? My understanding is that both of the eyes of a chameleon are independent, so that would seem to rule out depth perception.

I realize chameleons don’t go hopping through the treetops to catch grasshoppers, but they are “jumping” with their tongue.

It all depends on your point of view. A worm would classify animals into those that are peace-loving and do not attack you, like the lion, and those that are vicious killers, like the chicken.

How many fish or birds have you encountered with completely forward-placed eyes? (Flounder, maybe?) Snakes? Lizards? (chameleon?)

IMHO, This theory is more accurate when addressing strictly mammals.

And those that impale you on hooks, like humans…