Some insects and small birds see the world in slow motion. - FactzPedia

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Some insects and small birds see the world in slow motion.

Some insects and small birds see the world in slow motion.

Smaller animals tend to perceive time as if it is passing in slow motion, a new study has shown. Insects and small birds, for example, can see more information in one second than a larger animal such as an elephant. ... The work is published in the journal Animal Behaviour.

Animals smaller than us see the world in slo-mo. It seems to be almost a fact of life. Our focus was on vertebrates, but if you look at flies, they can perceive light flickering up to four times faster than we can. You can imagine a fly literally seeing everything in slow motion."


New research indicates that smaller animals, such as birds, dogs, and human children, perceive the world at a higher frame rate than the rest of us. As a result, these smaller animals may live life in a permanent state of Matrix-like bullet time, where everything around them appears to be moving in slow motion

This phenomenon is known as akinetopsia, the loss of motion perception. Patients do see the objects but cannot perceive their movement for some time. The so-called Zeitruffer phenomenon is similar to akinetopsia and manifests itself as an altered (usually slowed down) perception of the velocity of the moving objects.

"Typically, bigger animals tend to run faster than smaller animals, because they have longer legs," said the lead researcher. ... "Typically, bigger animals tend to run faster than smaller animals, because they have longer legs," said Christofer J. Clemente of Harvard University, who led the research.

Over 15 years ago, researchers found that insects, and fruit flies in particular, feel something akin to acute pain called “nociception.” When they encounter extreme heat, cold or physically harmful stimuli, they react, much in the same way humans react to pain.

Flies, such as the common housefly (Musca domestica) look at the world in quite a different way than humans do. The structure and function of a fly's eye are completely different from ours, and so they see shapes, motion and color differently. Flies are also able to see light in a way humans cannot.

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