Google+

BBC Future

How does human eyesight compare to animals?

Who’s got the better eyesight – a human or a cat? Well, it depends on the time of day, and what you’re looking at. Chris Howard takes a look.

What’s the difference between the way a cat sees the world and a human? Well, according to new research, that depends very much on how far away the object is, and whether it’s dark or not.

With the help of researchers at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Center, Nickolay Lamm showed that humans could see a much wider range of tones and colours, but that we didn’t have as good peripheral vision – and cats could see up to eight times better in the dark. However, humans scored much better when it came to seeing things further away. (Maybe that’s why your cat is ignoring you – it just hasn’t seen you)

But that long-range human vision pales in comparison to the average bird of prey; predatory birds are blessed with the kind of binocular peepers that can spot a promising meal more than three kilometres away. Try beating that next time you’re on your lunch break.

For more videos subscribe to the Earth Unplugged channel on YouTube.

If you would like to comment on this video or anything else you have seen on Future, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.