4th February 2005 at 00:00
Look at photos of animals that hunt (including humans) and those that are hunted, and compare the position of the eyes. Link this to the need to see over a wide area (prey) or to focus and judge distance (predators). Get pupils to experiment by closing the left eye, then, with the right eye open, stretch out the right hand at shoulder level and move it horizontally, recording when the hand can be seen and when it cannot.

Repeat with the left handeye. Look into the life history of the red fox. A straightforward summary with pictures is to be found at

Discuss the effect of the overlap of the field of vision on the way we work out how far an object is from us. Most science books contain other simple experiments you can do on binocular vision.

Dogs, foxes and jackals are three groups in the family Canidae. The way humans have exploited dogs through selective breeding links with work on evolution and selection. Consider the way breeding has produced dogs for speed (greyhounds) or for helping to bring back prey (the "soft-mouthed" retrievers), and the Pekinese and bulldog where breeding has resulted in deformed teeth, jaws and breathing passages. See educationdarwin and and look for "dogs".

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today