Dr. Chris Kirk and the Kingdom of the Crystal Aye-Aye

Dr. Chris Kirk was an amazing speaker! He’s a physical anthropologist and an Associate Professor with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, and he brought a lot of fun and energy to his talk. We learned a lot about why our eyes are give us crystal clear vision.

You have to watch the webcast replay when it’s available to get all the incredible details, including a test that you can perform to see if you have binocular vision, why all primates share forward facing eyes, and why we have complex facial muscles for communication.

Pin the tail on the Aye-Aye

As always, you gotta come early to have fun with all the cool games before the presentation. For the activities before Dr. Kirk’s talk, we could choose to wear glasses that simulated mouse, elephant, or dog eyes. Each animal’s eyes were fuzzier and showed less detail than our human eyes.

With the glasses on, we tried to complete different tasks to see how difficult they would be. Here I am trying to catch a ball with dog eyes.

Another activity involved pinning the tail on the Aye-Aye, which we found out from Dr. Kirk’s talk is a cute little lemur with a long middle finger to pull grubs out from trees. (It gets so happy when it has a grub! :-))

I tried both dog and mouse eyes, and the mouse eyes were the most difficult to distinguish details. Thank you, my human ancestors, for giving us such great eyes for depth perception and detail!

Outstanding presentation

Dr. Banner, thanks for the kind shout out in front of the audience before the presentation, and Dr. Kirk, thanks for all your wonderful mentions during your talk. I had an awesome time at your presentation and interviewing you beforehand!

Thanks too to everyone who knew me through my videos and came up afterwards to say hi. I had a surprise from some wonderful fans when my Dad and I were eating at the Noodles & Company after Dr. Kirk’s presentation! (The Japanese Pan Noodles were delicious!)

I can’t wait until the next Hot Science – Cool Talks in January 2012! :-)

Commander Ben signing off…

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Filed under Dr. Chris Kirk, Hot Science - Cool Talks, My Eye Your Eye and the Eye of the Aye-Aye, University of Texas

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