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Evolution Of The Eye And The Different Parts

1638 words - 7 pages

In 1802, philosopher William Paley called the eye a miracle of "design". Your eyes are responsible for 80 percent of all of the information that your brain receives. (Schleifer, 2014) But how did our eyes form? How are we able to see what we see? What allows us to see the colors we see? The eye is made up of many different complex parts that all work together to create images our brain can understand. The eye is made up of the front parts, or parts we can see, the interior parts, or parts we can’t see, the nerves which carry signals to our brain, and glands that protect our eyes. The eyes we have today have evolved over a long period of time and undergone many different changes, according ...view middle of the document...

(WGBH Educational Foundation, 2001) Recently scientists have learned about the eye by studying how the eye forms in embryos, and comparing the eye structure and genes in different species. As a result from this study scientists now have evidence to support Darwin’s claims. The evidence that was gained from this experiment is scientists have found that vertebrates eyes matured in less than 100 million years. Vertebrates eyes evolved from a simple light sensor to an optical and neurological organ. (Lamb, 2014)
The Cambrian Period of time, also known as the Cambrian explosion, is an important time in the history of Earth. During this time period some of the first animal fossils started to develop. During this explosion, two different styles of the eye evolved. Invertebrates (spiders, insects, and crustaceans, or arthropods) formed compound eyes. Compound eyes have a lens or reflector and light sensitive elements called photoreceptors. Vertebrates have a different form of photoreceptors in eyes that contain cones and rods for daylight and nighttime vision. (Lamb, 2014)
When light first hits our eyes, it travels through the front parts of the eye. The parts that we can see and are the sclera, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, pupil, and the anterior chamber. The sclera is the white part of your eye and is made out of a tough material and acts as an outer coat to the eyeball. On the outside of the sclera, you will see tiny pink blood vessels which deliver blood. There are six different muscles that are connected to the sclera and control the eye’s movements. They allow the eye to move upward, downward, toward the nose, and outward. Over the sclera is a thin layer of tissue called the conjunctiva which helps protect the eye.
The cornea is made of clear tissue that acts as a transparent dome and sits in front of the colored part of the eye. It helps focus light as it enters the eye. There are five layers that make up the cornea, they are: the epithelium, Bowman’s membrane, stroma, Descemet’s membrane, and the endothelium. These layers allow the cornea to heal quickly, provide protection, give the cornea its’ clarity, and keep the cornea clear. As you can see there are many different parts of the cornea that all work together to help us see.
Next, light travels through the iris, pupil, and the anterior chamber, which are located behind the cornea. Although they are behind the cornea, they are still visible to the eye. The iris is the colorful circular part of the eye. Muscles are attached to the iris to help change its shape. The muscles allow the iris to control how much light goes through the pupil, the black circle in the center of the iris. The pupil lets different amounts of light enter the eye. A pupil’s size will change in response to brightness. Pupils become smaller when a bright light is near them and open wider when there is less light. The anterior chamber is the space between the cornea and the iris. It is filled with a transparent fluid which...

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