[ExI] what big eyes you have

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 12 17:59:06 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> Why do big beasts have big eyes?  I get why small beasts have small eyes
> (packaging considerations) but human eyes are about the size of a ping pong
> ball and they seem to work fine; they can see close, they can see far.
> Eagles have smaller eyeballs than ours, but they work even better.  So why
> don’t elephants and cows have ping pong ball sized eyes?  I can’t think of
> any advantage to eyeballs scaling with the size of the beast, but I can
> think of some serious disadvantages, such as they would be more easily
> injured and would be more affected by gravity.  Granted an elephant with
> little beady human eyes would look weird, but we would get used to it.  So
> why didn’t evolution think of it by now?

Given your typical engineering approach to such questions...

What is the smallest eye capable of producing equivalence to human
vision?  The numbers would probably be different based on whether
you're talking about biologically or technologically -produced

I imagine there is a balance between the size required to collect
enough light and the size required to attach enough nerves to actually
use the information at "retina display" resolution.

(bonus thought) how many eyes might we be able to support if we woke
up after brain-only cryopreservation and had the entire spinal cord's
worth of nerves to carry vision's bandwidth?  Imagine if your goal was
to monitor real-time camera feeds from various locations around the
world in an effort to "see" everything at once...  how many cameras
would be required to saturate your nervous system with image data -
and would your brain eventually just cook itself with that much
vision-processing?  (i assume the rate of activation over the optic
nerve is much higher than a somatic nerve, but I'm not well-informed)

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