Our reaction time is the time it takes for us to respond to something happening. Many animals have much faster reaction times than humans. If you have ever tried squatting a fly buzzing around you, you will know how hard it can be! This is because a fly’s reaction time is around 20 milliseconds, so much quicker than ours at around 100-200 milliseconds. One particular genus of flies, Condylostylus, are thought to have the fastest reflexes in the animal kingdom. Responses can take less than 5 milliseconds.
Scientific research indicates that smaller animals, such as chipmunks, other small rodents and puppies, perceive the world differently. The human visual system is quite slow, and can decipher 10 individual images per second. However, smaller animals do this at a much higher rate. In other words, to them, most of the world appears in slow motion. When your puppy is enjoying their mad half hour – running around manically, to them it would appear to be at normal speed. Evolutionary wise ,this helps them avoid larger but slower predators
For GCSE Biology – you need to be able to explain how to investigate how different factors can affect reaction times. It is one of the required practicals you must revise. For help with this, and the other practicals in Paper 1 and 2 try our guide, “How to work with Required Practicals: Part 5”.
You will find a brief description of what you need to know about each practical, and key questions you may be asked. As always there are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.
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