02 May 2008

Two articles about animals and eyes

I recently read this story about a giant squid which has the "world's largest eye." Does anyone else hear "world's largest" anything, and immediately assume it's really inconceivably huge? I figured this eye must be the size of a VW Bug at the very least. But they are reporting it's about the size of a soccer or beach ball. Boring! Just kidding, it's still cool news, I GUESS.

Then there's this item - Starlings respond to human eye-gaze, and will change their behavior based on whether they are being observed or not. While I don't know much about starlings, this is something I have always thought was true of crows, and it reminds me of a thing I do: If I'm ever walking down the sidewalk and I see a crow minding his own business on the same path, I always feel a little bit strange about the fact that I won't be able to walk by without displacing the crow. Often, looking at the crow will send it flying away, and even a sudden glance will get it hopping nervously. So I try to walk around, and I avoid looking at the crow. I like to try to share the space - we're all in this together, after all.

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