SPECIES: Hali­aee­tus leu­co­cephalus

I CAN SEE A MOUSE FROM A HEIGHT OF 6,500 FEET

iD magazine - - Nature -

No­body could pull the wool over th­ese eyes: The vi­sion of Hali­aee­tus leu­co­cephalus is among the sharpest of any an­i­mal! Its vis­ual acu­ity is four to eight times as strong as that of a hu­man, en­abling it to spot a small dor­mouse from 6,500 feet away with­out any prob­lem, for ex­am­ple. Its se­cret: Its reti­nas have five times more vis­ual cells than ours ( about 1,000,000 cone cells per each mm2). The con­cen­tra­tion of pho­tore­cep­tor cells is par­tic­u­larly high in the fovea cen­tralis pits of its reti­nas, which is ideal for prey-lo­ca­tion pur­poses. The ex­tremely high den­sity of cone cells also en­ables this preda­tor to see its quarry in the wa­ter from a dis­tance of up to 2,600 feet away. The re­sult: Its catch rate is a record­break­ing 90%. Such an in­cred­i­ble per­for­mance abil­ity makes it the undis­puted king of all fish­er­men…

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