Dragonflies and marine predators see much faster than humans | Science
Humans can observe 65 changes per second. Dragonflies can see at least 300 changes per second. Salmon (with 96 changes per second) and dogs (75 changes) also see faster than us.
Starfish eyes are the slowest. They can only see 0.7 changes per second. This means that it takes several seconds to notice a change.
The slower a species perceives something, the longer it takes for the animal to react to what is happening.
For example, if a shark wants to catch a fast-moving fish, it is important that the animal can react quickly and therefore has quick eyesight. The same is true if an animal sees danger and has to flee.
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Quick observation requires a lot of energy
One might therefore think that in nature it is useful for all animals to have quick sight. But this rapid perception costs a lot of energy and is limited by the possibilities of the brain. Some animals need this energy to grow or reproduce.
According to the researchers, there is also a difference in visual speed within the same species. For example, soccer goalkeepers see changes faster than many other people, which is useful if the goalkeeper needs to react quickly to an incoming ball. Additionally, coffee can temporarily improve vision speed slightly.
Aquatic animals need faster vision than land animals
Researchers believe aquatic animals may perceive faster because fish and other swimmers continually adjust their position in the water as they hunt for prey. They are therefore much more mobile.
This does not apply to land animals. For example, a jumping spider spies on its prey and cannot change position after jumping. Animals in water do this all the time.
During the study, the researchers examined more than 100 animals. They found that small animals and marine predators have the fastest visual systems in their brains.
The results provide a better understanding of the interactions between predators and their prey. It also appears that light pollution affects the speed of vision. Bright streetlights can therefore be disturbing for some animals.
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