Dinosaurs are always a good topic of conversation, so let us bring you up to speed on what a Tyrannosaurus Rex ophthalmologist had to deal with 75 million years ago.

Before we start the exam, you’ll need a bigger office. A T. Rex, king of the tyrant lizards, weighs in at 9 tons. And at 13 feet high and 40-feet long, you’ll need an extension on your phoropter arm.

Let’s get one thing straight. Contrary to the myth promulgated in Jurassic Park, a T-Rex can still see you if you’re standing still. T-Rex and other dinosaurs have eyesight that’s estimated to be 13-times greater than humans. Take that, Spielberg.

From their high-altitude perch, T-Rex’s eyes allow objects to remain clear up to 8 kilometers away. If that object happens to be you, watch out. T-Rex can chase you down at 17 to 27 miles-per-hour.

For reference, consider that the bald eagle’s vision is estimated at 3.6 times greater than wingless humans.

On the other hand, our vision can only resolve objects 1.6 kilometers away, and we tend not to chase things down that are further than the fridge.

About those eyes

The position of T. Rex’s eyes was similar to that of modern humans, but their eyes and optic lobe were much larger. The eye sockets on reconstructed skeletons range from 8.5 to 10.5 cm. That’s an eyeball about the size of a tennis ball. And, the T. Rex’s binocular range was 55 degrees, according to University of Oregon researcher Professor Kent Stevens.

Find out how Stevens digitally modeled attributes of dinosaur vision here

Feeling nostalgic for the dino patients of yore? Humans still carry the archosaur rhodopsin protein sequences that helped dinosaurs see at night. And renovations aren’t required.


A Glimpse of Dinosaur Vision (Science Magazine)
Tyrannosaurus Rex Facts (Live Science)