With a diameter of 5cm (2 inches), the Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) is said to have the largest eyes of any land animal. They are about the size of a billiard ball and five times larger than the human eye! You can see when you look closely that their eyes are quite beautiful with long eyelashes to protect them. However, they take up so much room in their head that their brain is actually smaller than either one of its eyeballs. With such impressive eyes, ostriches can spot moving objects at great distance – something around the size of a large dog can be seen as far as 3km away during the day and about 50 meters at night.
The ostrich needs its large eyes to protect it from the variety of intimidating predators that it faces in life on the African savanna. Even though it has wings, the ostrich is a flightless bird, but makes up for this by running very fast. It can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour) and can frequently outrun many of its enemies.
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See also: Birds That Represent Love
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If you’re interested in birds and eyesight, you might be interested in the Birda app! Use your eyes to log birds you see and join the Birda community. Need help with bird ID? Our community is full of nature-lovers, just waiting to help you! Sign-up to Birda today!