5 Facts About Goat Eyes That Will SURPRISE You!

fact about goat eyes

Goat eyes neither resemble the round pupil we often see in humans, nor have similarities with the vertical pupil of cats or snakes. And that is for a reason.

Besides looking alien, the horizontal rectangular pupil of a goat’s eyes has quite a few helpful features.

For starters, did you know that goat’s eyes are able to rotate in their head so they can almost see completely behind them?

In this post, we are going to discuss 5 facts about goat eyes that will surprise you!

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1. Rectangular Pupils Make Goat Eyes Look Weird

Scientists have discovered that pupil shape and size in an animal’s eye play an extremely large role in the survival and evolution of species.

For that reason, the strange shape of the goat’s eye is a sign of its position in the natural food chain.

Goats are one of a few lucky animals to have evolved and adapted to their surroundings due to their horizontal and rectangular pupils.

These weird eyes may look creepy, but this is how goats survive in the wild.

Those creepy eyes actually help goats have a better and more discreet vision to defend themselves and adapt to their natural habitat.

Why Do Goats Have Rectangular Pupils?

goats have rectangular pupils in his eyes

Derived from their position in the food chain, goats are highly predatory herbivores.

These animals need to equip themselves with a high level of self-defense to keep away from predators and avoid being hunted.

And, the adaptation to a rectangular pupil is actually the smartest thing. Then, how do goats see with these weird-shaped eyes? These pupils can help them::

  • Have a broader field of view, helping them identify threats from afar in order to respond promptly.
  • Keep their view parallel to the ground while eating so they can see horizontally to keep an eye on their surroundings even while bowing their heads.
  • See many directions at once, with images on the horizontal plane clearer due to less light interference from unimportant directions.

All of these benefits help weaker animals in the battle for survival adapt to the environment and have a fighting chance at survival.

Even though most sheep currently live in a low-threat or less dangerous grazing environment, the goat retains the strange shape of the eyes it inherited from its ancestors.

Check more: How Long Do Goats Live?

Are Goats The Only Animals With Rectangular Pupils?

other animals have rectangular pupils

No, goats are not the only animal with rectangular pupils. There are many other prey animals that have rectangular pupils, including sheep, octopuses, and toads.

In the wild, there are two species of animals that are common in the food chain: predators and prey.

Predators often have vertical pupils, such as crocodiles and snakes.

This can help them better estimate the distance between themselves and their prey, thereby ambushing the prey with more precision.

Whereas animals with horizontal pupils are usually herbivores and often the prey.

Whether these prey forage day or night, their special rectangular pupils help them survey their surroundings with great precision to avoid being ambushed.

Did you know: When Is It Too Late To Band A Goat?

2. Goats Can See In The Dark Much Better Than Humans

goats in the dark

The fact that goats can see in the dark much better than humans does surprise many people.

Thanks to their unique pupil shape, goats can see a really large surrounding area in the dark, which is nearly 360 degrees.

Moreover, their eyes can control the proportion of light that goes into them.

This ability helps them not only see and navigate in the dark but also helps prevent the risk of getting blinded by too bright sunlight during the day.

At night, if goats catch a glimpse of a predator, their pupils can actually show them the directions and routes to help them avoid obstacles in the way, kind of like goat vision.

Of course, their vision at night is not as good as in the daytime. Their vision is only good enough for them to know the surroundings, move around, identify movements and escape from predators in the dark.

Do Goats Need Light At Night?

goats need light at night

Goats are capable of seeing well at night and can manage themselves through the night without any risks of bumping into surrounding objects or getting lost.

So no, goats do not need light at night. You can leave them on their own in their barn at night without any extra light source.

However, the barn should be equipped with firm fences so that your goats cannot escape away or get stolen or attacked by predators.

Nevertheless, although goats can see the predators in the dark, they cannot escape that easily.

Therefore, having guard dogs may be necessary as some predators can break through the fences and attack your goats.

Or you can keep them inside a closed stall if there are potential predators and/or if the weather is severe.

3. Goats Can See Colors, They Are Not Blind

goats can see colors

It is commonly believed that goats are color blind, but actually, they can distinguish a host of various colors.

This evolutionary trait enhances their recognition of their surroundings, such as obstacles around them or potential predators that are coming at them.

Being able to see color also helps them navigate better in the dark. Goat eyes absorb light with two types of cone cells or the color receptors that lie in their retina.

One is highly sensitive to blue light, while the other is to green light.

Humans have another type of cone cell which is red-light-sensitive. Thanks to this, humans can tell the difference between red, green, and yellow.

Meanwhile, colorblind humans and many animals including goats, cannot distinguish red and green as they appear similar to yellow.

What Colors Do Goats See?

Goats can see many colors including red, orange, yellow, violet, green, and blue.

According to an experiment that was conducted on domestic male goats, orange is the color that they can distinguish the best while blue is the worst.

The remaining is sorted (from better to worse) as green, red, yellow, and violet.

4. Goats Have Extremely Good Eyesight

eyesight of goats

As we mentioned earlier in this post, goats have very stable night vision and can recognize enemies in the dark.

However, if you are raising goats, you should still take measures to protect your herd when it gets dark.

Some people often worry when they see a goat with green eyes because they think goat eye colors affect their eyesight.

When the goat’s eyes are green, it’s not because they are sick or infected, it’s just the dominant eye color gene in the animal inherited from its parents.

And goats do not actually experience deteriorating vision problems because of the color factor of their eyes.

How Far Can A Goat See?

With horizontal rectangular pupils, goats possess a better view compared to others.

They have a view beyond all wide-angle cameras, with a field of vision from 320 degrees to 340 degrees without the need to move around.

Their eyes may resemble the eyes of horses, but goats don’t have the same blind spot in the front. In the dark, they can’t see as far as day.

They can only see clearly in the nearby surrounding area, which is enough for them to move easily for food or hide.

5. Can Goat’s Eyes Can Replace Humans?

Goat’s eyes replace to human

You can transplant any kind of eye, even eyes from animals, for a blind human.

The question is: can people regain their eyesight after doing that? Long story short, no, goats’ eyes cannot replace humans.

Once the eye is removed from the eyeball socket, the optic nerve is completely cut off. Current technology is not advanced enough to reconnect the goat eye with the human optic nerve.

Not to mention, goat eyes lack some color receptors and are not as complex as the human eye, leading to difficulties and complexity in transmitting nerve impulses exactly.

It is clear that with such a transplant, the blood vessels will be connected stably and the goat’s eye can still exist in the human eyeball.

However, you cannot see anything from this side of the eye, and if only for that, a glass eye can do it at a cheaper price.

Read More: Best Goat Milking Machines. Whether you’re a homesteader or a small-scale farmer, a goat milking machine can make chores a breeze.


1. What animal has the best vision?

Eagles have a visual acuity of 20/5, meaning they can see something clear at 20 feet away that humans with 20/20 vision would need to be 5 feet away from.

Their vision allows them to find and zero in on small animals from a distance of up to two miles away.

2. Which animal has most eyes?

Dragonflies actually have the most eyes at an amazing 28,000 +lenses per eye with a 360-degree field of vision.

3. What animal has the biggest eyes?

If you are referring to water animals, the colossal squid has the largest eyes measuring a whopping 11 inches in diameter.

If you are referring to land animals, the common ostrich has the largest animals at 2 inches.

4. Why do goats cry at night?

Goats cry at night for a variety of reasons. They may be trying to communicate that they are sick, hurt, hungry, thirsty, boredom, or even that there is a predator nearby.

The personality of the goat plays an integral role in the reason for what the cry is alerting to. For instance, if they never or rarely cry, you will want to see if they are hurt or sick.

5. Do goats have good memory?

Goats do have a good memory due to their inquisitive nature. Research has also proven that they have long-term memory. This memory allows them to remain safe and away from harsh environments.

6. Are goats more intelligent than sheep?

Researchers have discovered that goats are actually as clever as dogs, smarter than sheep, and can form emotional bonds with humans.

This level of intelligence puts goats a step ahead in their ability to adapt to changing environments.

Final Words

Are you surprised about your lovely goats after reading these facts about goat eyes? What do you think about these special abilities that come with creepy eyes?

This is how all things in nature adapt and evolve. If you found this post helpful, please show us your support!

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