Two hundred scallop eyes under the sea

les yeux de pétoncles sous l'eau

Two hundred little eyes look at you under the sea, without even noticing. Has nature offered him so many eyes to see better underwater, or is there another reason for that?

Saint-Jacques, two hundred eyes like no other.

Pectinidae scallops have aroused the curiosity of researchers for at least two centuries. It must be said that with two hundred eyes, there is something to attract attention!

His eyes are hidden in the eyelashes that make up the mantle connecting the two shells. They are 1mm in size and allow the mollusk to detect the approach of its predators, such as the starfish, and to find its food.


It is an invertebrate animal, with soft body, like a snail, often covered with a shell

ILLU1_scallops_two hundreds eyes_Curiokids

Eyes that work like advanced telescopes

What amazes the researchers is how his eyes work, completely different from ours.

In scallops, light passes through the pupil, a lens, two retinas to then reach a mirror made up of small crystals in the back of the eye. This mirror looks like a mosaic that can adjust very quickly to produce a clear image of its environment, much like in advanced telescopes.

Very quickly, the mollusk can adapt to catch its prey or run away if a predator arrives. The nervous system of the eye being connected to the molluscan muscle and its intestines, this offers it a definite advantage.


It is the central black part in the middle of our iris.


It is the part of the eye that focuses light on the retina. And it is the retina that sends information to the brain to decrypt the image.