Wildlife Wednesday: What's a Sclera?



whoa that's a little bit spooky isn't it

yeah those eyes kind of creep people out

sometimes hi i'm jerry ellis and welcome

to wildlife wednesday on apes like us

yeah i was editing over the weekend and

I bumped into a bunch of images and I

thought this would make a great Wildlife

Wednesday those eyes are the eyes of a

chimpanzee even though they look

frightening ly like us you'd almost

think this was maybe an early 2018

Halloween special but no those are

chimpanzee eyes from one of the

sanctuaries that I was working at and in

Africa and what I wanted to talk about

this week was that white part around

your eyes you know humans have much more

white than almost any other primate on

the planet in fact we're dominated by

white and there's a reason for that the

white around your eyes that well I hope

it's white it was just new years ago old

days ago so who knows what color that

thing is but anyway that white around

your eyes is called the sclera the

sclera is the white portion of your eye

it actually wraps all the way around

your eyeball to the very back of it

it's made from callaghan which is the

most well it's like the most numerous

protein in your entire body

it adds elasticity to everything you do

it's in your tendons it's in your

muscles and it adds elasticity to your

eye well we're not really sure a hundred

percent why we have more white than any

other primate on the planet especially

any other ape but we think it's because

humans use their eyes to communicate in

a very different way than most other

apes do like if you look at a gorilla

chimps bonobos any of the others their

pupils and irises seem to dominate their

eyes so they actually do have white

sclera but you just can't see it in fact

there was a study done and I'll put a

link to that down in the in the show

more section there was a study done

where they looked at the amount of

sclera that's white in a gorillas eye

and a human's eye and they found it was

almost the same except for because our

eyes are elongated more of that white

shows and that's why for example if you

have a pet dog if you're standing there

talking to your dog and you're looking

around at the dog the dogs following

your eyes the whole time well we use our

eyes to communique

like that where apes don't really want

you looking at their eyes they want to

conceal what they're looking at in fact

the worst thing you could do is you

stare right into the face of a gorilla

for example and this is the reaction

you're going to get so don't do that

don't stare into the face of a gorilla

or a chimp or you know any other ape

anyway that's your scelera you probably

never knew where it was and now you can

use it for trivia and fool all your

friends anyway that's this week on

wildlife Wednesday I'm Gerry Ellis for

everybody at Apes like us we'll see you

next Wednesday