How Animals See The World

Human eyesight isn’t the best in the animal kingdom, but it ranks pretty high. Humans can see a wide range of colours, have depth perception, and can see quite clearly for miles when our view isn’t obstructed. And when our sight is blurry, we can have laser eye surgery to see clearly.

Even with fantastic eyesight thanks to technology like Lasik, we can’t compare to some animals that have evolved into seeing at far distances, in unimaginable colours, or even seeing multiple images at once. Here’s a short list of animals with incredible ocular systems and how they compare to our own.

Birds of Prey

All birds of prey have incredible long-distance vision. As they soar high in the sky, their keen eyes scope out their next meal, which could be a mouse running through a field. Once they’ve spotted their dinner, they swoop down with incredible speed and accuracy, scooping up their prey in sharp talons.

Red Tailed Hawk

Birds like the red-tailed hawk have perfected this long-distance hunting technique and have eyesight 8 times the strength of a human. This means they can spot a mouse from over 30 metres away! If one of these birds took a standard vision acuity test, they’d come out with results around 20/2.5. What an average person sees from just 2.5 feet away, a red-tailed hawk can see at 20 feet. Talk about a great pair of peepers!

With laser eye surgery, patients will improve their visual acuity and many improve their vision past the 20/20 mark. There are many factors that can affect the final visual acuity of your procedure including your prescription before the surgery, the clinic you choose, and the skill of the laser eye surgeon.

Mantis Shrimp

A mantis shrimp has the fastest punch in the world with the same acceleration of a .22 calibre bullet. Its punch is so fast that light and heat are created upon impact. Astonishingly, these ancient crustaceans also have some of the most advanced visual systems in the animal kingdom.

Mantis Shrimp
Peacock Mantis Shrimp” by “Tony Shih” is licensed under “CC BY-ND 2.0”

The mantis shrimp has two bulbous eyes at the end of independently moving limbs, giving it a broad perspective. Each of these eyes generates three separate images, giving the shrimp hexnocular vision. To top it all off, they have 12 different photoreceptors compared to a human’s three! This means that the mantis shrimp can see colours and wavelengths beyond human comprehension, including ultraviolet (UV), far red, and polarized light.

With different types of cameras, we can see UV and infrared light. After laser eye surgery, you might not be able to see behind your head or see into the UV spectrum, but you can at least experience the freedom of being glasses and contacts-free.


An unsuspecting animal with an incredible ocular system designed for survival is the goat. If you’ve ever gotten up close to a goat you’ll notice something right away: they have rectangular pupils on the sides of their heads. This combination gives goats a 340° field of vision, so they can spot predators and threats on the horizon easily. Recent observations have also found that these rectangular pupils are always parallel to the ground. Even when a goat bends their head down to graze on grass, their eyes adjust in their sockets to keep their sights fixated on the horizon, like a camera on a gimbal.


If goats could have laser eye surgery to help improve their vision, they would definitely want it.

Lucky for you, you’re not a goat! If you want to improve your vision, BoydVision is offering free consultations to discuss your current visual health and recommended laser eye surgery procedures. Each patient has unique needs that we seek first to understand and address before any operation takes place. So give us a call at 604-430-9560 to get started.