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Do All Animals Perceive Time in the Same Way?

If you've ever wondered why you keep missing those annoying flies with your swatter, you'll be relieved to know that it's not you, it's them. Or more accurately, it's relativity. Researchers have discovered that smaller creatures with faster metabolisms, like flies and hummingbirds -- and maybe even children -- perceive time in a much slower way than larger animals. In other words, while you might think your swing is fast enough to smash the fly, the fly sees the swatter like it's moving through molasses. It has plenty of time to get away. The researchers tested more than 30 animal species, including cats, dogs, turtles, lizards, and eels, by evaluating how many quickly-flickering lights they could detect as separate entities. The more they could separate, the slower the passage of time seemed to them. According to one researcher, the results might even explain why a drive that seems like a matter of minutes to an adult can feel like hours to a child.

The truth about time:

  • A commuter in the United States spends an average of 38 hours a year stuck in traffic.
  • Daylight Savings Time was proposed as a joke by Benjamin Franklin, who said that candles could be saved by working during daylight hours.
  • China is the fourth-largest nation on Earth, but it uses only one time zone.
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