If there is one thing about dinosaurs that I absolutely love, it is studying how dinosaurs would have lived in their world. Granted, it was the same world as today but I just can’t help but love exploring just how dinosaurs lived. I specifically love the experiments and scanning they do on the skull to determine many interesting facts. Fortunately, dinosaur vision is a pretty straightforward conclusion that requires little “hard work”. Let’s dig a little deeper.
First of all, we discovered how a animal with its’ eyes on either side of its’ body normally does not have depth perception. However, they do have a wide range of visual coverage. This limited but expansive vision is both a good and bad thing.
It is good because the animal can cover a much wider range with its eyes while eating. The only blind spots, for an animal with eyes on the side of its’ head, are the bit in front of the nose and behind the tail. Of course, those blind spots can quickly be covered if the creature moves its’ head. So, which dinosaurs had eyes on the side of the head? We got quite a list.
Anklyosaurs – You know, the big, armored dinosaurs with the big, clubbed tails.
Sauropods – These guys are the giants, herbivorous, long-necked dinosaurs and probably did not have such great sight to begin with.
Ceratops – The Triceratops is the most famous of this group. Like most animals today, it has been tested that these guys had the prey vision.
Now, each one of those categories covered many, many dinosaurs but there are many more out there that had prey vision, but, for now, I want to talk about that Ceratops group because there has been some exciting research done in that group.
A Mr. Kent Stevens has decided to invest some laser equipment to figure out a way to see how Triceratops saw. That doesn’t seem possible . . . does it? Well, I have watched what he did and I’m rather impressed.
By using a Triceratops replica, Stevens was able to insert eyes into the eye sockets and insert lasers into the eyes. After mapping out where the eyes could point and what kind of range they could cover, Stevens came to the conclusion that Triceratops, like many other dinosaurs, had a wide range of sight but could not pick up depth or distance very well.
On that note . . . I want to explain something a little better. When an animal has eyes on both sides of his face he is picking up two different images. Because of this the animal cannot pick up depth by comparing two different versions of the image, like our brains and eyes do, they do not have the ability to pick out depth and distance. I’d figured I should just let you all know.
Anyway, now that we have figured out that the prey vision was in most (I’m still trying to work out those Hadrosaurs), if not all, of the dinosaurs that looked like prey. Therefore, we can conclude, for the prey part of this research, that they were a lot like today’s animals.