The visual capabilities of prey species such as white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) must be specialized to enhance predator detection and traverse a complex physical environment. Although aspects of the visual system of deer have been investigated, there has been no evaluation of the species' spatial resolution abilities. We used a behavioral assay to estimate visual acuity of three adult female deer using operant conditioning techniques. We estimated the spatial resolution is between four and six cycles/degree. Our results suggest the white-tailed deer eye allows relatively low spatial resolution, consistent with prior studies that reported high temporal resolution. The combination of low spatial resolution and high temporal resolution allows for efficient detection of movement and enhanced capability to transverse a complex environment.
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