The eye as an organ, how did it evolve it’s way into the millions of species on earth both living and extinct? ?

First off I’m not trying to ask why living organisms needed to evolve eyesight. What I’m asking for is how did the inherit table genes or other genetic material that accounts for the creation of the eye as an organ get passed down from one species down to the next if all life on Earth evolved from single celled organisms 3.5 Billion years ago? 

Why do mammals, canines, felines, insects, birds, fish, whales, sharks, lobsters, snakes and so many others share the eye as an organ? 

10 Answers

  • D g
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    every part of our body   was part of a simpler organism

    take the eye it could have been a simple jelly fish type  organism

    that  creature  crew some cells that allowed it  to see light ..  to see if it was  in dark or if it was  in  sunlight or  light from a predator 

    this would  allow that creature so  survive over a blind  jelly fish ..

    then  other creatures evolved from that   and kept the  trait of the eye maybe even   improving it 

  • cosmo
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Insects and lobsters evolved eyes independently of the fish, reptiles and mammals.  Fish, reptiles and mammals come from a branch of the evolutionary tree where all the species have functioning eyes (except for the cave-dwelling species that have lost them).

    You realize that even some single-celled species have photo receptors (slime molds, Euglena).

  • Who
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

     who knows,

     But EVERY species must be able to detect food -so your basic premise is based on a false assumption

       that the "eye" was passed from 1 species to another

    since every creature must be able to detect food then those members of a species that have a better system for detecting it will tend to survive while those that dont will tend to die out (remember - they are in the same species) and this will apply generation over generation as some members  of a species evolve  a better method of detection

      so at the start the method might be crude- but will get better over the generations so today they have got the "eye" - MAYBE future generations may develop some form of telepathy so the "eye" as an organ will no longer be required


     THAT is the basic premise for evolution

    the other thing to remember the evolution of the next generations by copying dna is NEVER 100% perfect

    The LAST thing to remember is- ALL those creatures have "eyes" with different abilities each ability being suited to the environment they live it

     to they may have the "eye" as an organ,  but they are not all the same KIND of  "eye"

    Eyesight with sharks for example aint that good and nowhere near as good as some species of bird

     Sharks use SOUND more than eyesight to detect food.and so do whales and so do fish (cos you cant "see" very far in water)



  • 4 weeks ago

    Good question. The eye is an organ that didn't and hasn't evolved but was created by the master worker, God. Everyone wants to be believe that life evolved but there is nothing within creation that proves that, that is a fact.

    Romans 1:19-21-because what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them. 20 For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable. 21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their senseless hearts became darkened.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 1 month ago

    You're asking how the genes for eyes get passed from generation to generation?  Mitosis, meiosis, and natural selection  But I don't see what the existence of a common ancestor has to do with that question.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Go to Wikipedia by googling evolution of the eye. The author of that page goes into a lot more detail than anyone can explain here. Basically, the eye has evolved many times independently in animals over the last 1/2 billion years or so. The most primitive eyes are simple light sensitive calls on the body. From that primitive stage the equivalent of a pinhole camera evolved. The light sensitive cells are surrounded by a cup shaped exterior with a small opening at the top. Later on a transparent lens evolved to cover that opening so that light can be focused more precisely to form a sharper image. These structures are passed on to future generations through developmental genes. so that the embryo and the growing animals gets exactly what is needed to develop the eye.

  • 1 month ago

    The earliest predecessors of the eye were photoreceptor proteins that sense light, found even in unicellular organisms, called "eyespots". Eyespots can sense only ambient brightness: they can distinguish light from dark, sufficient for photoperiodism and daily synchronization of circadian rhythms. They are insufficient for vision, as they cannot distinguish shapes or determine the direction light is coming from. Eyespots are found in nearly all major animal groups, and are common among unicellular organisms, including euglena. The first fossils of eyes found to date are from the Ediacaran period (about 555 million years ago). The lower Cambrian had a burst of apparently rapid evolution, called the "Cambrian explosion". One of the many hypotheses for "causes" of the Cambrian explosion is the "Light Switch" theory of Andrew Parker: it holds that the evolution of advanced eyes started an arms race that accelerated evolution. Before the Cambrian explosion, animals may have sensed light, but did not use it for fast locomotion or navigation by vision.

  • 1 month ago

    The ability to produce and use pigments to sense light is thought to have evolved at least 40 times, and eyes of different kinds occur in 3 phyla. Phototropism is obviously a very important survival trait and the more refined the receptor becomes the more survival advantages it confers.  It went from a simple light sensitive spot, to a pinhole camera-like structure as in Nautilus, then to compound eyes as in insects, then to eyes with corneas and lenses. It took a very long time.

    For more details about how evolution could have developed eyes to where eyes are at today, see the link to a 2017 paper in Nature:

  • geezer
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Why do all the animals that you've listed share the eye as an organ ?

    So that they can SEE.

    They also share a heart and a brain .. but do not share lungs (animals that live underwater have gills instead).

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.