We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Eye on the Web |

Small Primate, Big Eyes

Ilya Rozenbaum, MD; Christoph Faschinger, MD, PhD
Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126(4):542. doi:10.1001/archopht.126.4.542.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Tarsiers, some of the world's smallest primates, have the largest eyes relative to body size among mammals (Figure).2 Human eyes would have to be the size of apples to match tarsier eye proportions. Surprisingly, they are named for their extremely long feet and not for their enormous and fascinating eyes, which take up about half of the relatively tiny face. Each eye is larger than the animal's brain or its stomach. Tarsiers originate from the Philippines and nearby islands and are mostly active at night. However, they lack a reflective tapetum lucidum characteristic of most nocturnal animals so having very large eyes helps to maximize their sensitivity in low light. Unlike many other nocturnal animals who have slit-shaped pupils, tarsiers have humanlike round pupils that are able to constrict very effectively to about half a millimeter.3 Their eyes have retinae with both rods and cones and a fovea, which is unusual for nocturnal animals. The large crystalline lens aids in dim light.4 Tarsiers cannot rotate their huge eyes; instead, they are able to turn their heads nearly 360°.

Figures in this Article


primates ; eye

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview


Place holder to copy figure label and caption

Tarsier eyes.1

Graphic Jump Location




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles