Eye Shine of Bigfoot and Other Animals



This compilation of information on “eye shine” was begun due to reports of red-eyed bigfoot creatures across the U.S., and specifically in Horizon City, TX; “rocking the red-eyes” (throwing rocks) by kids in the desert near Horizon City; and an account of a boy and his father near the Hueco Mountains (same area as Horizon) being around the campfire and witnessing high/tall green glowing eyes pacing around them and making clicking type noises (the witnesses felt they were Chupacabras).  I have compiled what “eye shine” is below, and which animals have red and green eye shine, as just as importantly, which animals DON’T so a comparison can be made. 


NOTE:  My personal notes added in below (sometimes in the middle of a quote from a website or other source) will always be in maroon.



From: http://www.rain.org/~mkummel/stumpers/20oct00a.html

Cats and many other nocturnal animals have a mirror-like layer at the back of their eyes (tapetum of the retina which helps them see better in the dark) that reflects background light like tiny searchlights. Humans don't have this tapetum lucidum layer, so red-eye photos are something different. The red color is a reflection of the many blood vessels that nourish our eyes, like the pink color of our lips. We only notice this in flash photos because the camera flash is bright for such a short time, 1/1000th of a second or less, so our pupils don't have time to close down or constrict.


From: http://www.rain.org/~mkummel/stumpers/20oct00a.html

"Tapetum lucidum" literally means bright carpet, a nice phrase. A Web search on that phrase turns up an abundance of interesting info. Here are some different animal species (and links) that I've found listed as possessing a tapetum lucidum for enhanced night vision. It's interesting how this adaptation appears in such different animal groups!




(taken from many online sources/charts and also personal eyewitness testimonies)






















         There's a PBS NOVA site about the Nocturnal Eye that discusses animal night vision adaptations. There's even a page about Bigfoot's night vision!







MOTHMAN:  RED www.anomalist.com/features/motheyes.html



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Apes eyes do not have eye-shine but see in color

From: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Stargate/5103/wildman/eye.htm

In primates the prosimians (primitive primates such as the lemur and aye-aye) exhibit such a feature as the tapetum lucidum. While the great apes do not. Likewise many other animal species in far ranging groups show this characteristic, to most it will be most familiar in a household pet like the cat. Even humans, who do not have this tapetum, do possess a limited "eye shine" that can be seen in red eye images in some photographs.

Now the question of whether or not such a creature as Bigfoot, if it does in fact exist, could see in color comes up at times as well. The problem here is that color recognition comes down to chemical properties in the eye as well as the presence of the photoreceptor cones. Additionally all mammals that posses color vision have a small indent on the retina called the fovea in which these cones are organized.

As was mentioned previously the cones are made of three distinctively different types of pigments, erythrolabe, chlorolabe and cyanolabe. Each it has been thought correlates to a color blue, green or red. These pigments react through chemical functions and create the color vision people see. The lack or inhibition of one or more of these pigmentation cones causes the various forms of color blindness. The strength of the light also plays a part in the color recognition, for example a light wavelength of 5000 to 5500 angstroms generates a green color, while one of 6750 to 7000 creates the red color. Factored in as well are the elements of hue, brightness and saturation that enhance or diminish the intensity of color depending on the viewing conditions and distances.

The color vision ability can be drawn to one thing, if a fovea is present than the likelihood of color vision to some extent is also present. This is not a hard and fast rule, but a good guide. For example the great apes posses a fovea, and in al likelihood have a form of color vision, while the douroucouli (Aotus trivirgatus) or the night monkey from South America does not have a fovea (or any cones for that matter) and so cannot posses color vision.

That is the crucial point. Color vision is much more specialized for a daytime existence, for at night the ability to see color is minimized due to insufficient light. To adapt to the insufficient light some species have the tapetum lucidum to allow for enhancement of the light. Despite this adaptation, many of these species also adapt enhanced hearing and smell as well as varied vision (like enlarged eyes and varied positions of the eyes on the head).

As for a connection to Hominology subjects, at this time, no steadfast attribute can be applied. It can be fairly safe to say that if Bigfoot exists it is a form of primate (this includes the possibility of a relic humanoid), and to acquire this tapetum would make it an even more amazing discovery indeed. However, the possibility of color vision is more likely to occur. If humans and great apes possess color vision, to some extent, but do not posses a tapetum lucidum, and it is extracted that Bigfoot is a type of primate akin to a great ape or human, then the correlation to these primates can be loosely made.

The ultimate answer though as to what kind of vision these creatures may have cannot be described as of yet. A specimen would be needed, and to identify the vision capabilities it would have to be a relatively new specimen with the eyes intact, as the information needed cannot be preserved in a skull, only on the living tissue.

NOTE:  The nitty gritty here is that humans and apes do NOT see in the dark due to a lack of the tapetum (reflective retina), however, bigfoot’s eyes have REPEATEDLY been documented to have red reflective eyes which points to them possibly having the taptetum so they CAN see well in the dark (many sightings of these animals do occur during the dark when they are roaming around).  Human eyes only shine red when a flash from a camera hits them at the right angle.  This is due to blood vessels in the eye and the flash hitting before the pupils have time to constrict.


Lloyd Pye’s site on hominoids:  http://www.lloydpye.com/A-Earliest.htm




I’m being facetious and even a tad mean-spirited here because I want to be certain no one misses the point: Miocene apes are perfect candidates for all the various hominoids that are alleged to live around the world, and not just the bigfoot kind. There are at least three other types of varying sizes (two different man-sized ones and a pygmy type), and quite possibly multiple examples within the four size-based categories (the way there are two distinct types of chimps and gorillas). There seems to be at least three types of bigfoot. 

Imagine this scenario: Instead of 50+ Miocene apes, there might have been only, say, a dozen or so, with regional variations classified as 50+ different species due to the scarcity of their fossils. Of those dozen, maybe six were quadrupeds and six were bipeds, with the bipeds being substantially more intelligent, more active, and more wide-ranging than the down-on-all-fours genetic kin. All twelve passed the millennia in their own time-tested fashions and continue living alongside us humans today.  None went extinct. 

For as radical as that scenario might sound at first, the facts as they exist make it far more logical and probable than the current anthropological dogma that all Miocene apes were quadrupeds, and that despite living in stasis for millions of years, dozens inexplicably went extinct and left only the six we classify today. And please don’t harass me with this old saw: “If hominoids are real, why don’t we know about them? Why don’t we ever see them? Where are they?  Where are their dead bodies?” People who ask such questions are simply ignorant of an astonishing array of valid research and hard data that exist but are ignored by mainstream science because it doesn’t conform to their current dogma. 

We do know about hominoids; we do see them regularly; every single day at some place on the planet some human encounters one or more of them. They are out there living by the thousands…by the hundreds of thousands in order to maintain breeding populations. But because these facts represent such a severe diminution of our knowledge about the world around us, and equally diminishes our sense of control over everything around us, we are far more comfortable rejecting it as a possibility. When the day comes for some lucky soul to finally cram this blatant reality down our collectively unwilling throats, we will all get up the next day and go to work as we have every day prior. But we will never be the same after that day, not ordinary people and especially not mainstream scientists.


Notes from Lloyd Pye’s email 8/23/03:




You already have a copy of my book, EYKIW. Just read Part III again, the part about Hominoids. The Zana story is in there, as is much more you need to know about the hominoid field in general.


Colored eyes (red, blue, green, yellow, etc.) are all common to nocturnal animals (which we are not) because they have a film in their retinas that we do not have. I can't recall it at the moment, but it is well-known and there. Assuming hominoids are indeed nocturnal (which all evidence indicates they are), it would be unusual to have a nighttime report NOT include a mention of brightly reflecting eyes.


Most sightings are of single creatures, but numerous ones have been of multiples. It is ASSUMED, but not yet proven past doubt, that they travel about in small family groups, and that when you see one you can assume that others are within an easy shouting distance in case of need. That's why an individual one should not be shot by an individual human. Others nearby will come to its rescue and probably harm the human.


No, no connection between hominoids and UFO's. Others will argue this point, but that is my take on it. I think they are straight animals, plain and simple, who have inhabited this planet for 20 million years or more.





Excerpts from Lloyd Pye’s book “Everything You Know is Wrong”:


Part III.....




Email from Craig Woolheater (Texas Bigfoot Research Center):



    The percentage of CREDIBLE sighting reports of more than

one creature at a time is very small. We don't have very many

at all. I know that John Green, who has compiled over 4000

sighting reports, has stated that it is a very low percentage.

I have just sent an email requesting that info. I will pass it

on to you when I get a reply.

    The most common color that is claimed for eye glow or

shine is red. The next most common color would be a yellow-

green color.





Apes & Humans are Primates in the same family:


From: http://www.duke.edu/web/primate/psimians.html

Lemurs, lorises, galagos, pottos, tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans are all primates. They all belong to a group of mammals that scientists have classified in the taxonomic order Primates. This order can first be divided into two sub-orders to illustrate the division between prosimians and the more familiar "higher primates" (i.e. monkeys, apes and humans). The suborders and their respective families are as follows:

  • Suborder Prosimii
    • Superfamily Lemuroidea (Lemurs)
    • Superfamily Lorisoidea (Lorises, Galagos (bush babies), and Pottos)
    • Superfamiliy Tarsiodea (Tarsiers)
  • Suborder Anthropoidea
    • Superfamily Ceboidea (New World Monkeys)
    • Superfamily Cercopithecoidea (Old World Monkeys)
    • Superfamily Hominoidea (Apes and Humans)



Nestbuilding of Higher Apes:


From: http://home.worldcom.ch/~negenter/081NestbApes_E.html


History of Research

The study of nestbuilding behaviour in the higher apes is based on roughly 50 years of field research and about 200 years of observation.

Construction, form and types of nests

The higher apes are nomads. In search of food the animals daily wander over a more or less clearly defined home range and rest at "customary used nesting places" (Harrison 1969). Every night is spent in a different place. This is the source of a routine for nestbuilding behaviour. All three species of higher apes from a certain age (3-4), every night build themselves at least one new nest. On average this means about 10-15 thousand nests over the life of an ape, a virtual tower of 11 to 16 times the height of the Eiffel-tower in Paris. A really remarkable life-opus!

The construction process is rather stereotyped. In trees the animal stands or squats on two legs, with its arms it pulls about three thick branches towards its body, bends them, presses them down under his feet and weaves them into a stable round platform of about 60 to 80 cm in diameter (fig. 1 + 2). Then thinner branches and twigs are woven into a wreath. Finally the platform is cushioned with twigs broken off and with plucked leaves. Uneven spots are levelled by knocking with the back of the hand. The whole procedure lasts about one to five minutes depending on the animals abilities. At the end the constructor lies comfortably down in the finished nest and falls asleep. High up in the crown of the tree it safely passes the night until the first light of the next morning.

There are ground-nests which may take the form of grass-, foliage- or twig-nests close to the ground or other constructions in underwood bushes or bamboo-groves reaching heights of 2-4 m (fig. 3 + 4). The former in general are simply made by heaping up materials in a circular form, whereas the latter are stable constructions standing vertically in space. In bamboo groves the heavy animal hangs on the bamboo stalks by his arms, bends them down and weaves them essentially in standing position into a stable framework. After checking his work the animal climbs up and lies down for sleep or rest.

The differentiation between tree- and groundnests is extremely important, because these two environments are entirely different in regard to the animal's movements. In the crowns of the trees the apes move vertically by climbing and horizontally by swinging (arboreal locomotion), in contrast with terrestrial locomotion. The animals use the stable surface to move on on four or two legs - in the latter case like man - and have a quite different access to plants etc. than in the vertically structured environment. In regard to the physical evolution, in particular to the erection of the body the hands freed from use in locomotion, the distinction of arboreal and terrestrial environments in the habitat is of great importance, as is the transition from one to another in evolutionary theory. But it has been little noticed that nestbuilding is represented in both environments and that it shows different technical characteristics. In the case of the tree nest some strong horizontal branches are enough to support the platform. Stability is provided by the physical conditions of the tree. Variation is limited by a limited situation. In contrast to this the materials offered on the ground are of much greater variety and this variety is accessible. The groundnests are therefore more differentiated in terms of construction and form. They vary from heaped types on the ground to woven structures on bushes and to stable and vertically standing structures. This typology can be interpreted in terms of an elementary evolution. The bamboo tower certainly resembles human structures. Its stalks are joined by weaving and tying knot-like slings and it shows tectonic qualities, e.g. standing vertically stable in space. Its foundations are naturally provided by the rooted stalks. It definitely meets two criteria generally thought as of human origin: the stable triangle in a vertical constructive frame. Should these 'discoveries' have to be attributed to the higher apes?

In terms of physical anthropology this type of terrestrial nest raises questions of far-reaching significance for the human evolution. Is this first constructor about to rebuild himself physically with his routined nestbuilding behaviour? Did this constructive routine help to develop the precision grip of the hand as a tool? Did this constant control of weaving and cushioning activities sharpen the eye for close work? Did an increasing capacity of remembering reliable ways of construction influence the development of the brain? Did the routine activity of vertical constructions lift the body of the constructor into the vertical position?

The functions of the nest

The relation of the nest to the life of its users is very intimate. Its functions are remarkably complex:

Protection: The nest primarily gives the security of a protected and stable place during the nocturnal phase of the apes' daily life. In this phase the animal is not fit for locomotion; in the dark the three dimensional vision of the higher apes is practically inoperative. With their platform the animals not only protect themselves against predators, as is often maintained in literature. Perhaps more importantly they bridge the darker half of their existence during which they are not adapted to their environment. And they also satisfy the physical need of their great bodies for recreation in a horizontal position.

Home: Van Lawick-Goodall has described the nests of chimpanzees as "sickbeds". Animals shot by hunters use their last energies to build their last nest which keeps them from falling. The nest is the last place of refuge.

Mother-child-nest: The nest of mother and child physically reproduces the development of the mother and child relation. Apes spend about two to three years in the nest of their mother. During this time the child gradually learns to build a nest. The long close contact to the mother's bodily warmth contributes to a sense of safety in the nest.

Settlement: The nests of a group form an elementary settlement in which individual characters and social relationships are expressed by the relative distance and location of the nests (fig. 6).

Orientation: The durability of the nest artifacts is remarkably longer than the factual use, which in general is only one night. Nests left behind by the animals last two months on average. Unfortunately their semantic function in the system of the apes' orientation has not yet been studied.

Without doubt these five functions of nestbuilding are deeply woven into the life of the animals in the wild. It also becomes clear that the real significance of the nest in the everyday life of the higher apes becomes obvious only, if the nestbuilding behaviour is studied using constructive, spatial and functional criteria, that is to say with the instruments of architectural theory.



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(c) Sharon (Eby) Cornet 2011