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Animals Live Their Lives as Long as We Do by Dr. Ken Tudor |

by Dr. Ken Tudor |

Have you contemplated whether your pets see their lives a being as short as you do? Did you ever wonder why it is so difficult to successfully swat a fly? Why do they always know when you are going to strike? It turns out that the answers to these questions are hidden in the differences in the way different species of animals "see" the world.

Kevin Healy, a Phd student at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, wondered the same things. His research in the recent edition of Animal Behavior suggests that animals perceive the length of their lives as no shorter than our own. Why? The experience of time is subjective, not objective, so the individual perception is the basis for the way we look at the length of things. However there is an objective measure of visual perception.

The critical flicker fusion (CFF) is the lowest frequency of a flickering light that is perceived to be a constant light. Some refer to this as the refresh time necessary to process visual information. For humans, this period of CFF is 60Hz or 60 times a second. This is the same refresh time for the image on a TV screen so we see it as a constant image rather than a series of images that are occurring at 60 images per second.

Dogs have a CFF of 80Hz. When they watch TV is like watching a group of rapidly changing still photographs. This is why most dogs do not enjoy watching TV. This may be bad news for the DOGTV people. ...more

(The Lesson for us: Animals with lower metabolic rates tend to live longer than those with higher metabolic rates. Mr. Healy compared size, metabolic rate and CFF.

He found that there is a correlation between animal size, metabolic rate and CFF. He concluded that evolution favors animals to view their world in the slowest possible time......more)

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