The Third Eye

By Anupum Pant

Some lizards like Iguanas and bearded dragons have an eye in the back of their heads. This is almost like a third eye and is called the parietal eye. However, despite being called an eye, it actually isn’t an eye in the traditional sense because unlike a normal eye, this doesn’t let the lizard see images.


The eye, although still mostly a mystery, has two main purposes. It is basically a photosensory organ, or a biological photodetector which is used by iguanas to detect light and dark. Probably, just that.

The eye helps them sense if it is dark or bright for thermoregulation. Also, since it is in the back of their heads, it can help them detect a predator coming towards them from the back by detecting dark shadows.

Igg girl reports that her iguana seems to duck when she takes it in the car and they enter a tunnel. A defensive mechanism. Also, it’s not unheard of pet iguanas getting scared when you swoop down on them to pick them up.

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