Ben Franklin had nothing on trilobites.
Roughly 400 million years before the founding father invented bifocals, the now extinct trilobite Dalmanitina socialis already had a superior version (SN: 2/2/74). Not only could the sea critter see things both near and far, it could also see both distances in focus at the same time — an ability that eludes most eyes and cameras.
Now, a new type of camera sees the world the way this trilobite did. Inspired by D. socialis’s eyes, the camera can simultaneously focus on two points anywhere between three centimeters and nearly two kilometers away, researchers report April 19 in Nature Communications.
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