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Top 7 Animals With The Most Impressive Eyesight

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Dr. Marc Weinstein

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As humans, our brains are so advanced that it has created all the  inventions that the world can boast of today. Interestingly, one can't say the same for our eyes. What some animals can see at a glance, we cannot see, except with a telescope, and a diligent sprinkle of focus. This article looks at 7 animals or species that excel in visual strength just as we do in mental capacity.


Typically, predatory birds have an awesome long-distance vision. However, eagles are simply the best of the best.  Eagles can see eight times as far as the sharpest human eyes can. This means that an eagle can spot its prey from about two miles away.

Eagles are also excellent with shifting focus. This means they can zoom in on an object effortlessly. Sometimes, humans have to squint or close an eye to get that effect. What's more, is that eagle eyes can see a wider spectrum of colors than human eyes. We can tell the difference between blue and green, but eagles can capture the slightest difference between burgundy and wine. With this ability, they can see ultraviolet light and capture the slightest changes of coloration in their prey.

Interestingly, these animals only have such sharp vision during the day. Examples of these animals whose sights are similar to the eagle are the falcon and the hawk


As the sight of the eagle weakens at sunset, the sight of the owl gets even sharper. Most birds have their eyes placed at an angle, but the eyes of the owl face forward directly. This means they can neither move nor roll their eyes like humans. However, they can move their necks all the way around, giving them a wider range of vision compared to humans.

The owl has several rods in its eyes, which makes them very sensitive to light. What's more, is that their irises allow their eyes to take in much more light than the typical eyes can. They also have a reflective layer behind their retina. This layer makes light that has entered the owl's eye reflect into it again. Thus, it gets to absorb the light twice. This explains its unusually sharp night vision.

Owls can also see during the day, but their sight is quite blurry and they are almost color blind. Nevertheless, this animal made it to the list for its outstanding night vision

Mantis Shrimp

When the idea of eyesight comes up, people tend to judge by what animals can see when they focus. However, the mantis shrimp stands out for what it can see when it doesn't focus. The Mantis shrimp's eyesight is regarded as the most complex one among animals.

For instance, the human eye has 3 cones, which enables it to see the red to violet spectrum. However, the eyes of the mantis shrimp have at least 16 cones which keep its color recognition powers more advanced than any other animal. The highlight of its eyes is that its two eyes can focus on two different things and see them as clearly as it would if it focused both eyes on one object. Both eyes can move in different directions and still see their objects of focus simultaneously and independently. Their complex eyesight also makes it possible for them to instantly pick rather insignificant changes in color.

Sheep & Goats

When talking of animals with awesome eyesight, grazing animals may not come to mind at the initial instance. However, science has shown that one can tell the visual capacity and major activities of a species just by the shape of its pupil. Research has found that pupil shape and eye orientation depend highly on the activities undertaken by different classes of animals. Tall predators that hunt during the day tend to have forward-round pupils. smaller predators that hunt both night and day have vertical slit pupils that aid their night vision and perception.

Prey animals, like deer, horses, and elk, that graze in the open have wide and narrow horizontal pupils, which helps them see a wider range of things even as their heads are lowered. With those pupils, they can keep their eyes in constant rotation to check their surroundings for any threats around them.

Arctic Reindeer

The arctic reindeer mostly live in arctic and subarctic regions. Thus, they tend to have issues with vision. This is because they settle in areas that stay snowy for very long periods, and snow has a high reflective quality.

Furthermore, regions around the North Pole have longer nights, which means that they have long periods of darkness which may last for many months. Thus, the deers have to adapt to darkness or dimness most of the time.

The tapetum lucidum is the reflective structure in the eyes of animals that are active at night. The tapetum lucidum of the arctic reindeer changes color while adapting. Thus, the Arctic Reindeer's ẹyẹ is blue in winter and golden in summer. Beyond the color, the eye becomes more sensitive to light during winter.

The arctic reindeer can also react to UV light and standard colors. This adaptation is very important to them so they can detect predators easily. Also, predators tend to have furs that have a UV signature, and the deer's eyes can detect it.

The Reindeer's eyes also have a way of protecting them from ultraviolet light waves.


Cheetahs have one of the best visions in the animal kingdom. They can spot their prey from up to 5km away. Its tear lines also absorb sun rays thereby protecting them from being blinded by bright light. It also has one of the highest densities of photoreceptor cells in the retina among other species of the cat family