The brain of a bird

If you had eyes like an eagle (the bird) you could (for example) stand at ground level and see an ant crawling alongside the top window of a 10-story building. According to the website Livescience, birds of prey can see up to five times farther than the average human can, meaning they have 20/4 vision under ideal viewing conditions.

They also have superior colour vision. They see colours more vivid than we do and can discriminate between more shades. For example, they can see ultraviolet light — and thus can see the UV-reflecting urine trails of small prey… ugh, yikes, but who wants to see that? The ability to see all the urine spills in your favourite park or on a stroll through the city would totally ruin the experience. There’s pee all over the place.

Lolz, how did this piece of writing happen? Actually I sat down to write a short poem, it should have gone something like this:

“In movement,
eagles can see better,
humans can feel & sense better.”

But then I was like, “is that even true?”, and started to look things up and thus found out about birds of prey being able to literally see old pee.

So, luckily, we’re far from that. But how many people in our myopia-inducing world maintain really good eyesight? I found this comment on Quora:

“About 1/1000. I would say, from practical experience, I would see about 6,000 patients/ year when I first began basically as a refractionist in a very large ophthalmology group (15 full exam lanes). And I would see about 6–8 per year. I mean they could read it, binocular, and get everything correct. Typically they were pilots, extreme athletes. I treated many teams on the olympics. I’ve had archers with 20/10 and gold medals as well!” – Emery Hall, former Optometric Physician

Now, how did the rest of us arrive at less-than-ideal eyesight? I myself I wasn’t born with perfect hardware to begin with, but I did pretty well in adjusting to what I have, and several hundred hours of Feldenkrais-inspired exercises did me very good, too. One time, at an eye exam, I left the technician stunned and scratching his head about how such great alignment is even possible given my anatomical eye position. But then, certainly, I did my eyes no good service with too much screen time, reading under challenging lighting conditions, going to bed too late, not spending enough time in nature, and such and such and such.

Ok, now, what I actually wanted to do is to write about the ability to feel and sense ourselves, and if that works better with or without movement. I’ll see to that on another day, though, because for now I ran out of time, I need to work on my next movement lesson for Youtube (which is about sensing ourselves in movement). I’ll see you around!