Do Gators Wear Goggles?

Look closely at Bayou’s eye in this photograph.

Do you notice how it appears milky or cloudy? That is because one of his eyelids is shut! Unlike humans, alligators, and many other animals, have a second eyelid underneath the primary one called a nictitating membrane. This transparent lid allows alligators to see better underwater — like having built-in goggles! This photo was snapped at just the right moment to capture Bayou with his nictitating membrane closed but his primary eyelid open!

We know that right now, many people are trying to find fun ways to pass time while staying home. That’s why we’re bringing the Zoo to the comfort of your home — virtually! Follow along on our website and social media for daily stories from the Zoo.

This photograph shows Bayou’s eye when fully open. The arrow points to the retracted nictitating membrane in the corner of the eye.