Black-necked Stork in the Eye of the Marsh

I grew up reading Desmond Morris’s books. This British zoologist’s most famous title, The Naked Ape: A Zoologist’s Study of the Human Animal, on human sociobiology is still a bestseller 50 years after its publication in 1967. While reading his comparatively recent book on the human body that came out in 2008, I was struck by one sentence in the chapter, The Eye: “Having visible whites to the eyes is a uniquely human feature.” Is that so? The jungle babbler has white eyes (irises), so does the white-eye, a bird named after, what else but its white eyes. Celebrated scientists can go wrong sometimes.

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