Ever Wondered Why a Deer Freezes in the Headlights?

Have you ever wondered why a deer will "freeze" in the middle of the road when it sees a car approaching? It would seem to be such a self-destructive thing to do. But just as we understand our dogs so much better when we study wolf behavior, this action is understandable too. Wolves have much better peripheral vision than humans, as well as better night vision. But they have difficulty seeing a stationary object. This is why people will sometimes think their puppies could be "blind" when they don't see a still ball fairly close to them. When the deer freezes, it virtually becomes invisible to the wolf. Once it decides to move, it runs fast, because it knows instinctively that the wolf will now be able to see it, and will be in pursuit. It is an evolutionary behavior that has been honed over millions of years. So it does make sense in the wild; it is only counterproductive on our modern roads. BTW, wolves, dogs, and cats all have a layer of special low-light sensors at the back of their eyeballs. This is what is responsible for the fact that their eyes seem to glow at night.

 

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