Dec 24, 2022

Small and speedy animals perceive time faster than big, slow creatures

Posted by in category: futurism

“In their world, everything is just a blur,” says Healy. The starfish’s temporal perception may be so slow because it is an herbivore – it doesn’t need to strike fast to get a meal. A tasty coral polyp will be in the same place even if it takes the starfish more than a second to find it. A marine predator such as a shark, on the other hand, needs to see faster to catch fish, which are constantly moving.

On average, flying animals detect light changes at a faster rate than land-bound animals, likely because they need to be able to sense changes around them quickly to avoid collisions. “If you fly, you see faster,” says Healy.

Healy’s research found that dragonflies can perceive changes in their environment the fastest, detecting 300 flashes per second – nearly five times faster than humans and 400 times faster than starfish. “It’s almost like bullet time in The Matrix,” says Healy, describing dragonflies’ time perception.

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