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Nictitating Membrane

emu nictitating membrane third eyelid high park zoo toronto Nikon D3100

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#1 JasonTO

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:08 AM

I love capturing birds and reptiles utilizing their nictitating membranes. Though I have lots of different shots of birds/reptiles with their nictitating membranes, these shots of an emu at High Park Zoo are my favourite.

 

For those not familiar with the term, "A nictitating membrane is a third eyelid that is translucent or clear. It is used as an extra level of safety for the eye and allows the creature that has it to still see while affording its eyes an additional amount of protection. Some birds, reptiles, and sharks have nictitating membranes as well as a few mammals. (Though many mammals have a vestigial nictitating membrane that does not cover the whole eye.) Unlike the first and second eyelids, which open and close vertically and meet in the middle of the eye, the nictitating membrane moves across the entire eye horizontally.

 
The membrane provides protection, but it also allows the eye to be moisturized without the bird losing sight. This is extremely helpful for birds of prey flying at high speed, as it prevents their eyes from drying out. The protection aspect is probably more handy for birds that search for food underwater." (Definition from 10,000 Birds | What is a Nictitating Membrane?)
 
 
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Nikon 55-200mm VR AF-S f/4-5.6G ED

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ISO - 400

45mm

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#2 Wheatsack

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 02:42 AM

Wow.... I learn something new every day... thanks Jason.


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#3 Dennis

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:24 AM

Neat pictures and great information.


Thanks, Dennis.

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:14 AM

Good work!  I did not remember knowing of the third eyelid. Nature in all its wonders.



#5 Herman

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:38 AM

Nice & interesting series... thanks for the detailed info, Jason!

 

:)


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#6 Art

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 02:17 PM

Very nice images and great explanation. Been a year since I last visited Mr Emu! He looks great,love the hair!!

:lol!
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#7 JasonTO

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 02:23 PM

Thanks all.

 

Art, now that he has a new mate, I'm hoping they make babies. Most of the other animals there have given birth in the last few years except the emus. 



#8 Art

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:27 PM

Thanks all.
 
Art, now that he has a new mate, I'm hoping they make babies. Most of the other animals there have given birth in the last few years except the emus.


Well, he/she was always alone if memory serves! Nice of the zoo to get some company!

Maybe, they'll escape... like the Capybara! :lol: Honeymoon for a few months in the park!
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#9 james23p

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:38 PM

Very cool Jason! We used to have an Emu at our barn were my daughter has her horse they finally found a home at an animal rescue since it was not very social.

 

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#10 JasonTO

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 05:23 PM

Art, there were two emus a few years back. Then just the male for a couple years. I've been given conflicting information on what happened to the original female (either died, they weren't compatible and she was transferred, etc.). That'd be cool if they eloped like the capybara, though possibly very dangerous for humans.

 

Jim, the ones at the zoo seem friendly but they attempt to bite the fingers of unsuspecting people (mostly children) that hold on to the fence. They are well known in Australia to attack people via kicking. Last I checked the human death toll from emus (in Australia) was 5 but they also live in very remote areas of the country.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: emu, nictitating membrane, third eyelid, high park zoo, toronto, Nikon D3100

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