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Each bulging eye of a damselfly has thousands of lenses.

A Bug’s Eye View Insects may have the wildest eyes of all. Tey take up a lot of space. For example, the eyes of a damselfly take up most of its head! Tese eyes are called compound eyes. Each

one has many tiny lenses. Each lens catches light and creates an image. Te bug’s brain puts all the images together. A fly’s eye has 3,000 lenses. A bee’s eye has

more than 5,000. And a dragonfly has the most lenses of all: a whopping 30,000! Tese super eyes don’t give insects super

vision. In fact, their eyes don’t focus the light very well. But these oddball eyes are super motion detectors. How? Having thousands of lenses helps

an insect see even the smallest flicker of movement. Tat’s one reason why it’s so hard to catch

pesky flies. Tey see the swatter coming and fly off in a flash.

A Bright Future Engineers have set their sights on cool animal eyes. Tey study how all these different eyes work. It’s giving them ideas for new inventions. Understanding how eyes capture light may

lead to new designs for cameras that take pictures inside the human body. Someday, scientists might even be able to make an artificial eye that works just like the real thing. Eyes just might help us see a brighter future.


focus: to make a clear image in the eye reflect: to send back light rays refract: to bend light rays visible: able to be seen vision: sense of sight, or seeing


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