Well, now that we have, somewhat, figured out how well prey-looking dinosaurs saw we can move onto how well their enemies, the predator, saw. However, before we move on, I need to make one quick little note about classifying dinosaurs as prey vision or predator vision.
As can be expected in God’s creation, every dinosaur’s head is unique. And, because of that, not every one has the same kind of obstructions for prey vision or predator vision. For example, a Brachiosaur sauropod might have a lot less snout and face in front of his eyes so that gives him more range than the Triceratops who has a whole truckload of face in front of his eyes. Each and every dinosaur is different so the exact classification of prey vision or predator vision may be more in general instead of specific.
So, to get on with our research . . .
Dr. Kent Stevens, of which I mentioned in the last segment of this series, has taken seven predatory dinosaurs and had lifelike reconstructions made of their heads. He inserted eyes into these replicas and then lasers into the eyes, just like with what he did with Triceratops.
The seven dinosaurs he did this too included:
- Tyrannosaurus Rex
In Dr. Stevens’ abstract he immediately states that Allosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus had limited binocular vision because of the placement of their eyes as well as the shape of the snout. Big Allosaurus had his eyes way too close to his snout and there were just to many obstacles blocking a clear, binocular vision ahead. However, he did have a range similar to that of a crocodile.
Carcharodontosaurus too, had his eyes to close to his snout but he was also limited by facial obstructions. These limited his ability to connect both of his eyes in the same range. He, too, had about the same range as a crocodile.
However, when it comes to the other dinosaurs, we see a major difference.
Since, Velociraptor and Troodon were much smaller predatory dinosaurs and ones with much smaller heads, we can see (no pun intended) that they would have much better range. With bigger eyes and smaller heads, as well as eyes being farther from the snout, Velociraptor and Troodon had a range of 55-60%. That is about equivalent to an owl’s. This surpasses any known reptile’s vision range.
Pretty exciting stuff. But let’s get back to the bigger predatory dinosaurs. The only dinosaurs left are Nanotyrannus (not all that big I guess, and some scientists think this could be a juvenile T. Rex), Tyrannosaurus Rex and Daspletosaurus.
I couldn’t get a direct statistic on Daspletosaurus but it seems he had a pretty good range of vision.
With eyes sixteen inches away from each other, Tyrannosaurus Rex has such a wide range of vision that it exceeds that of a hawk. Nanotyrannus was the only dinosaur in this test that beat Tyrannosaurus Rex’s range. Tyrannosaurs Rex’s range is amazing considering his size and gigantic head. Truly, Tyrannosaurus Rex was the king of the forest. I would have hated to be an animal with prey vision.
So, after much studying and comparing, we have finally come to the conclusion that dinosaur’s vision was built a lot like modern-day animal’s. However, some, like Tyrannosaurus Rex, had an even better vision range that many living today, which is a landmark discovery at the very least.