How do the heat pits in animals work?



Like the heat pits of certain vipers pythons. How do they function.

In: Biology

They are basically very similar to the eyespots found in some small and primitive animals.

Essentially, the ancestor of those Vipers just had infrared sensitive skin in those areas. Over time, a pit evolved because that allowed for better image resolution and aiming.

It is like the difference between looking in the general direction of a blinding bright light with your bare eye, versus holding a empty toilet paper roll up to your eye and looking in the general direction of that light. In the second case, you will only be blinded By the Light if you are aiming right at it, while in the first case it will blind you even if you are looking in somewhat different directions.

The pit also serves as a protective function, allowing the skin there to be thinner and more sensitive because it is not constantly being rubbed against other services like most of the skin on a snake’s head.