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Man and Nature: Conflict Between Time Worlds

FRI NOV 16 10:47

Animal’s reflexes to danger are different, and the conflict between predators and prey is a conflict between time worlds.

Crocodiles are cold blooded. Their visual and reflex reactions very with temperature. The cold slows down their eyes’ visual chemicals until they no longer register movement. The croc will see fast motion as a blur, but by sunbathing, crocodiles accelerate the chemical reactions in their bodies. And once the croc is a up to see its prey materializes once more. Reaction time is also quick, to match its warm blooded prey. The prey’s vision reacts best to fast motion and can be fooled by slow movements. The final strike pits reaction times against each other.

The Great White Shark is also a cold blooded predator. Its warm blooded prey lives in cold water and so provides a challenge. The Great White Shark hunts only mainly by eye. It can see in semi-darkness with its large saucer-like eyes. Prey can look surprisingly similar. To avoid mistakes the shark must maintain keen vision even in the cold. Its solution is to shunt heat to muscles encircling the eyes. The shark’s eye warmers help check out a victim. Super heated vision makes the difference in the final attack.


(CCTV-1, Nov 19)


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