Do we owe amphibious mudjumpers the ability to blink an eye? This is what research suggests.
If we take a look at the evolution of the human being, our roots in primates have been demonstrated, but the truth is that to understand our history we have to go back, even a few thousand years. Did you know that our origin, like that of the vast majority of living beings, lies in water? Yes, it could be said that millions of years ago, our origins were cells that were in the fluid that is essential for our life. This is how capricious evolution has been until today.
For this reason, we can find remains of the development of our species in other animals, including those found in the water. Researchers have been conducting studies on this matter for a long time, being able to obtain evidence regarding the way of living outside and inside of the water. Thus, under this criterion, a hypothesis has been established about one of the characteristics of terrestrial animals. Did you know that fish do not blink because their eyes are always lubricated? Amphibious mudjumpers have something to tell us.
Let us see, therefore, why we find ourselves before an animal that can explain the existence of the eyelid over our eyes, how it is a key element in our sense of sight and, of course, to what extent this feature is key in the development of differential vision. What if we owe this essential element in our lives to a small animal that lives in the mud? Here are the keys to the research carried out.
They find evidence to owe the eyelids to amphibian mud jumpers
What’s the point of blinking? It is true that the human being has used blinking as a form of communication throughout history. Whether blinking both eyes or winking only one, it’s a movement that accompanies the message being said. However, its main function has always been related to the lubrication of the eye. Preventing them from drying out is one of the essential functions of this involuntary act of the human being. Does the same happen with amphibious mudjumpers?
More than 300 million years ago these animals came out of the water to spend most of their time on land. For this reason, we are dealing with a species that could have taken advantage of this mechanism to interact, also, with the rest of the members of the species. For this, it was decided to put several units in a mud tank, which were exposed to air jets to promote dry eyes. What happened after a few minutes?
After the analysis of the filming, it was possible to verify how the volume of blinks increased by applying a higher level of airflow. Subsequently, it was decided to apply a solution directly to the eyes of these amphibians to find out if a chain reaction was produced trying to clean the dirt. As is logical, various involuntary movements were produced in order to remove the remains of dirt that had formed in the field of vision.
Both tests allow us to understand how blinking is an element obtained with evolution to the adaptation of animals to the terrestrial environment. For this reason, fish do not require a tissue that is capable of enveloping the eye in the water, since there are no such dangers. On the contrary, outside the protection of lakes, seas or rivers, there is a greater risk of losing vision quality. To avoid this, these types of practical solutions were created through an evolutionary process that took place over time.