Sunday, 19 August 2007

Whites of the eye

Are the whites of the eye an example of sexual selection? Humans seem to have much more white than other species and it would be reasonable to assume the bright colour is a selection disadvantage in camoflage terms. That the whites are less white when one is ill is another factor that would suggest sexual selection, as is the attractiveness of large white eyes.

Another interesting aspect of the whites of the eye is that they make it easier to see where the eye is pointing; to make eye contact. It is harder to make eye contact with other animals as it harder to tell where they are actually looking. Perhaps the advantage of eye contact is communication and hence it evolved through group selection.

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