Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Snakes Credited For Our Keen Vision

Indonesian mud snake, Borneo. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
UPI Correspondent
Davis CA (UPI) Aug 30, 2006
A University of California anthropologist says humans need to thank the snake for helping them develop their vision to see inches away. Lynne Isbell at the UC-Davis campus says the ability of humans to have such sharp eyesight resulted from a "biological arms race" millions of years ago between primates and snakes, especially the poisonous kind, reports ABC News.

The primates eventually won the battle and their revulsion against the reptiles continues among their human descendants.

Isbell's study appears in the Journal of Human Evolution. Scientists believe primates developed near-vision to capture bugs or pluck a fruit.

Isbell says monkeys and apes of Africa needed to improve their vision to protect themselves from being consumed by snakes lurking nearby as the latter are harmless from a distance.

Isbell says African primates, who have had to battle snakes the longest, have the keenest vision. At the other end, the Lemurs of Madagascar, who have never been preyed on by venomous snakes, have the poorest vision.

"Primates have the best vision of all mammals," she says. "And we have the best vision of all primates."

Source: United Press International

Related Links
University of California - Davis

Ancient Raptors Likely Feasted On Early Man
Columbus OH (SPX) Aug 31, 2006
A new study suggests that prehistoric birds of prey made meals out of some of our earliest human ancestors. Researchers drew this conclusion after studying more than 600 bones from modern-day monkeys. They had collected the bones from beneath the nests of African crowned eagles in the Ivory Coast's Tai rainforest.

  • China To Build Earthquake Warning System At Three Gorges Reservoir Area
  • Interview: Katrina Lessons Learned
  • Katrina Response A 'Systemic Failure': Former US Emergency Response Chief
  • Engineers Find New Way To Close Levees

  • Iron Critical To Ocean Productivity And Carbon Uptake
  • Prevention Vital Against Desertification
  • More Carbon Dioxide May Help Some Trees Weather Ice Storms
  • Study Breaks Ice On Ancient Arctic Thaw

  • Renewed Volcanic Activity At The Phlegrean Fields Tracked By Envisat
  • China To Launch 1st Environment Monitoring Satellite
  • NG Demonstrates Synthetic Aperture Laser Radar for Tactical Imagery
  • MODIS Images Western Wildfires

  • Crude Oil Rebounds On Iran Jitters
  • Turning Fuel Ethanol Into Beverage Alcohol
  • Oil Prices Tumble On Easing Hurricane Fears
  • Boeing Wins Contract to Build Solar Cells for Renewable Energy

  • Is The Cure In The Blood For Bird Flu
  • HIV Life Expectancy Now Normal
  • Analysis: Time To Quit On AIDS Vaccine
  • Fear Of Human Spread Of Bird Flu Lessens

  • Chimpanzees Can Transmit Cultural Behavior to Multiple Generations
  • The Ammonia-Oxidizing Gene
  • Physiology Allows Crucian Carp To Survive Without Oxygen
  • Water Is Essential For Bonding At RNA Parties

  • Early-Warning Water Security System To Be Tested
  • China Making Little Progress On Pollution: Legislature
  • Lebanese Fishermen Crippled By Wartime Oil Spill
  • Giant Ramses Statue Flees Central Cairo Pollution

  • Snakes Credited For Our Keen Vision
  • Ancient Raptors Likely Feasted On Early Man
  • Remote Island Provides Clues On Population Growth, Environmental Degradation
  • Human Brain Filing System Uncovered

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement