Since the premiere of “Jurassic Park” dinosaur lovers from all over the world have had the same question. Did T-Rex have bad eyesight? According to the movie line, the meat-eating king of the park could only see you if you chose to move. If you ran, you were fair game to be chased down. Scientists have researched the eyesight of a T Rex for years and have reached a conclusion.
T Rex was likely to have had excellent Eyesight. In fact, research has shown that it could see up to 6 km (3.7 miles). The T Rex also had fantastic depth perception, allowing it to clearly see. The T-Rex had binocular vision, meaning that the eyes could focus on specific objects, whether they were moving or not.
This means that if you were crazy enough to stand inches from the nostrils of a T-Rex, it would see you. There is no way you would not end up being its next snack because its eyesight is was certainly not based on movement. Let’s look into this further to get a complete understanding.
The Fallacy Of T-Rex and Bad Eyesight
Until relatively recently, all dinosaurs were thought to be cold-blooded creatures like lizards and amphibians. There are currently no known or proven facts that any mammals, reptiles, birds, or amphibians can only see when there is movement. The T-Rex is claimed to have ties with three of these animals, so let’s see how their eyesight works.
- Amphibians – The closest creature that follows along with the idea of only seeing by movement is the frog. Frogs can also see stationary insects, but their eyesight focuses on movement because insects seldom stop moving.
- Reptiles – The lizard has long been said to be the relative of the dinosaur, including the mighty T-Rex. Reptiles do not see by movement either, though. Lizards have binocular vision, meaning they can focus on moving or stationary objects at any distance.
- Birds – Birds such as hawks and eagles can see better than any human can, from distances as far as 2 miles. They see tetrachromatic, which means that they see in four-dimensional colors. This means they have excellent eyesight, the best of all the animals, including humans.
- Mammals – It should go without saying that mammals have good eyesight, which does not rely upon movement. The larger corneas allow more light to enter the eye, making it possible to see better at night and during the day.
No matter which critter you are talking about, it is evident that the eyes will pick up on anything that moves easier than something stationary, which is why so many of nature’s creatures are camouflaged.
If you have ever wanted to know why you should dress to blend into the surroundings when fishing or hunting, you now know the answer. The more you blend in, the harder you are to see, but being seen is not entirely dependent upon movement no by a long way.
The Actual Eyesight of The T-Rex
The T-Rex was one of the meanest predators on the planet during its time. If it lived today, it would definitely be at the top of the food chain. The question of how good the dinosaur could see has been discussed more times than can be counted. The main reason for this is the chain of Jurassic Park movies with main characters relying on standing still to be unseen by the T-Rex at least in the first couple of movies.
That is not even close to the truth. Even if the T-Rex could not smell them (due to its extraordinary sense of smell), it would easily see you standing in front of them. They may hesitate to attack out of confusion, wondering why their food would not be trying to get away, but they would attack.
If you have ever looked through a pair of binoculars, you know how well you can see items at a distance. The smaller the binoculars are, the closer the objects must be. Now, combine both types and you will understand how the T-Rex could see. Close or far, the Rex could focus on its prey and hone in on it. Once you were in its sights, the only chance you had of not being eaten was to outrun it and as it wasnt that fast ( see link below) that wasn’t that bad a choice.
How Do Scientists Understand the Eyesight Of T-Rex?
A couple of scientists have extensively researched how the eyesight of the T-Rex worked. The way to do this is by using innovative equipment and testing to figure out exactly how the dinosaur could see. Professor Kent Stevens began working on a project known as DinoMorph in an attempt to find the truth.
- Stevens produced some digital models of the T-Rex head.
- He collaborated with other experts in the field to produce an exact replica of the skull, especially the eye sockets.
- The team used perimetry to reproduce the eyesight of the Rex.
- The glass plates, lasers, and glass eyes showed that the dinosaur had excellent eyesight.
- Plus, the eyes facing forward in a narrow skull suggest that the Tyrannosaurus had excellent depth perception.
It all boils down to that Professor Kent Stevens, through thorough experiments, found that the T-Rex could see objects moving or stationary at up to 6 km. That is farther than the keenest hawk can see, so it is a safe assumption to state the T-Rex had stellar eyesight to help them find prey easier.
We have LOADS of other facts and articles about the T Rex on the site. you can try a search or look through the list we selected below.
- How fast was a T Rex
- How Tall was a T Rex
- How Big Was a T Rex
- Did a T Rex have wings
- Did A T Rex Roar
- Did A T Rex Lay Eggs
- Could T Rex Swim?
- How big was a T rex Brain
We have a huge selection or articles to answer the common and some less common questions about the Tyrannosaurus Rex here on the site and to make it easier to access we have them in the table below.
It is hard to replicate something gone for centuries, but scientists find innovative ways to prove their theories as technology improves. Improved scans and laser precision instruments have made it possible for scientists to bring the creatures from the past into real-life scenarios without worrying about being eaten.
The eyesight of the T-Rex was much better than the Jurassic Park series suggested, but since the movie is such a hit, many people go no further to find the truth. Luckily, the T Rex does not live today because if you did stay still, you would make for an easy snack.
Hi, I am Roy Ford a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs and from that and children’s love of dinosaurs came the site dinosaur facts for kids, a resource for all ages.