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EnviroLink Forum • View topic - Animal vision and what it means

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2022 5:58 pm 
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I am interested in automated driving for vehicles because I have narcolepsy problems sometimes that makes safe driving not guaranteed. The work trying to get self-driving vehicles appears to be the most difficult programming task humans have worked on and still haven't achieved that goal without internet and supercomputer assistance. Infrared light doesn't travel well through carbon dioxide and Mars has a 95% carbon dioxide atmosphere... I think this is why Tesla vehicles have eliminated infrared detectors the other self-driving systems use. It is now clear that the only way for these systems to work is for the computer in the vehicle needs to actually name every object in the area and use that to predict the future movements of objects that might have a brain or wheels (not remain stationary) and ignore fog, rain, and blowing leaves. I recently found out that jellyfish have vision and have a ring of neurons that functions as a brain. All animals are divided into two groups on which ones form an anus first compared to those who form a mouth first. Both jellyfish and starfish have one opening so the mouth and anus are the same opening but other things about these two groups of animals put jellyfish and starfish in opposite groups. Because of this, I looked up starfish vision and yes, they have vision too. Like clams (who also have eyes), starfish have no central brain but a bunch of interconnected bundles of neurons in various locations in the body. Time lapse photography of starfish hunting clams show that both animals can sense the other from a distance and now I suspect vision is involved. The more science studies neurons, the more it is clear that every neuron is a full computer by itself (inputs, outputs, processing, memory, reprogramming). If such simplistic animals can use vision to understand the world in a level rivaling modern AI, how much more can smart animals understand their world. Recently I saw a wildlife video showing a large bird of prey drop out of a tree onto a rabbit who starts doing a rabbit danger scream. In runs a deer at high speed and the deer attacks and kills the bird and makes sure the bird is dead (the rabbit escapes as soon as the deer arrived). This shows that the deer fully understands life and death and cares for a completely different animal. We think we have good vision but no, most animals have vision abilities that exceed human vision in one or more ways. That vision also is often connected with three-dimensional processing in the brain due to the complex environment the animal is moving through. My favorite pet is the rodent called a degu. Degus in the wild allow several other animal species to live in their tunnel systems. As pets, they get along with many animal species and can imitate the sounds of those other animals to interact with the appropriate sound for the species the degu is communicating with. Vertical irises in eyes like in cats and foxes are to allow light through eyes with more than one focal point (the edge of the lens focuses on different parts of the retina than the focus of the middle of the lens). Some rodents like house mice have a duel focus lens but the edge is only for vision in the dark and the middle of the lens is for bright situations. For house mice, they have close color vision in the dark and far vision in sharper black-and-white when in bright light. This farsighted vision of scared mice in the light causes them to run into things. Animals with long necks rotate their eyes so the horizon stays on the same parts of the retina. Many other animals including humans retain the eyeball rotation abilities but we rarely notice. This list of facts are background for an experiment I did with my degus. Degus have duel focus vision and pentachromatic color cones and vertical irises. Most humans have 3 color cones with colorblind people having weak sensation in one of those three. Some people have four color cones (tetrachromatic) but nobody noticed this difference because we each think our vision is normal. Degus see two cones in the ultraviolet range of light frequencies and three cones in frequencies humans see in. In bright light, I can see the iris of the degus. Rotating their heads, it is clear they keep their irises vertical by rotating their eyes. It is believed degus see ultraviolet light to identify pee of individuals with a unique blend of hormones in the pee for every individual. This indication is likely visible for several weeks on the dry dirt. After having a complex tunnel system made out of cardboard tubes (for new rug) in degu cages, the degus remember where the tubes used to go and follow that path even if they have to walk sideways on the cage walls. This shows their ability to memorize a complex tunnel system and that memory takes preference even though they have excellent vision. Their biggest threat in the wild is birds so they have good long distance vision but when they dive into a tunnel after looking at a bird of prey flying in from the direction of the sun, they need to see close stuff in the dark tunnel. Pet gerbils also have vertical irises and are farsighted but I don't have them as pets lately to test the eye rotation. In conclusion, learning about AI for self-driving vehicles and security cameras to identify objects and place them in a 3D model of the world and learning how amazing animal vision is, even in simplistic animals, I have a greater appreciation of the power of animal brains.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2022 12:42 pm 
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I wonder how well my new adopted French lop rabbit sees. I still tearfully miss my Fozzy, who died in my arms 87 days ago at 6 years and one day old. I just adopted Wally from the Humane Society. He is all grey and wasn't the prettiest rabbit they had, but he needed our home, yesterday. I hope he wasn't abused, and he did his first binky today, meaning he is happy.
I saw the news video of a horse that had been rescued. The owner didn't give fresh water or food and the poor thing only had its own feces to eat. The former owner was arrested.
Osteo-arthritis got me bad late last year and Fozzy had helped me through the extreme pain. I wonder if my illness got to him, all I know is he was the best being I have ever known, and it still hurts. I am much improved and out of most pain, now. Fingers still stiff and an ankle bothers me, wrists and arms are much weaker. I did not think I would make it to 73 in July or to my Dustoff reunion in September. Fozzy, Silvia, Jumper, and Ebony, all told me from the Rainbow Bridge, that I could get another rabbit. That I could get an older one and still be there for him.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2022 1:23 pm 
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Having thousands of small mammal pets over my life blurs memory of most individuals but certain animals stick in my memory. Of those special individuals, the relatives of rabbits have a higher proportion like my white tail jackrabbit and my eastern cottontail and a few domestic rabbits. When I caught a wild rat in a granary and tamed her in minutes, I was given two unrelated domestic rats of different genders so I thought I would compare domestic and wild side by side. I ended up having two litters in a row from one breeding and left the babies together too long and the babies had double litters too so I ended up with 767 rats from 3 in less than 2 months... Oops. That original wild rat had so much personality I could identify her in the crowd of female rats instantly. I kept everyone for their lifespan (99% exceeded 5 years and only one with tumors). Rabbit vision and some bird species look sideways at you if they are paying attention because they don't use stereo vision as much. A video I saw recently of pademelons seeing themselves in a mirror had them looking sideways too. Pademelons are rabbit-sized relatives of kangaroos.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2022 5:10 pm 
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After one of our dogs passed, my wife and I decided to adopt another from the local shelter. We WERE looking for a smaller dog for her as we had previously owned two rat terriers. My wife saw a large brown "boxer mix" with sad eyes and protruding ribs during the visit. There were no dogs that fit our search criteria so she kept coming back to this sad eyed brown dog. She suggested that we give her a home and I agreed but was clear I did not expect that she could control such a big dog. I picked her up on my way home from work after she was ready from being spayed and microchipped and she rode in the passenger seat of my truck. She was not comfortable but made it home. We soon discovered that my wife could not walk her on a leash during the day so she went to work with me with a bed under my desk. She quickly became my dog. I fixed a more comfortable bed behind the seats, but she wanted to see where we were going. Cue taking my wife's SUV to work with me and letting Nola ride in the back seat. This too proved to be a problem because she had trouble jumping into the back seat comfortably. Nola has really become my dog and the best I have had since I was in high school. She quickly learned to way to and from work and if I took any detour she would whine to let me know I made a "wrong" turn. She also did not care for my classic rock and we had "settled" on classical music for our rides because that was more calming for her. Since she was unhappy with the truck and the SUV choices we went car shopping. I found a nice Mercedes four door that we both liked, but my wife threw a fit about me buying a Mercedes for the dog. We then went to the Ford dealership and picked out a nice little four door sedan with a lot of room in the back. The salesman was a little taken aback when I took Nola to the back of the car to see if she liked it, but he let us look. Nola like the fit and I told the salesman we would take it. He was really confused that I had not test driven it or even sat in the car, but only let the dog try it. I explained that I have driven most everything with wheels at one point or another and she was the reason we were getting a new car. I also bought my wife a new car with a Nola approved back seat too. Have to keep the women happy. All things considered we could have dealt with the Covid lockdown well enough to stay in the old house, where I had done all of the landscaping there was to do, but with all of the new foot traffic Nola had issues with people coming into her yard. I should point out that Nola was not the "boxer mix" but what appears to be a full blooded Rhodesian Ridgeback according to a few folks who spent time in southern Africa. She has the ridge that appears and it does when strangers are about and I am not directly with her. She is very obedient to me, but at 70+ pounds she can be scary. Having so many people around was preventing her from being able to enjoy her yard so we looked for property where she and I could be happy and a house my wife could enjoy. Since then we have adopted two more small dogs and two kittens. The kittens and one of the dogs belonged to my mother-in-law before she passed. Now beside the bed on my side are three dog beds because they ALL want to sleep beside me if they cannot sneak into bed with me. The three dogs, one kitten (now a cat), and I form the house pack. The kitten adopted Nola as a mother figure and act more like a dog than a cat and I am the pack leader.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2022 8:19 pm 
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