SEP 25, 2018 12:55 AM PDT

How Animals See the World: A Look into Eye Evolution


How do other animals see the world? Scientists have studied the workings of the eye and vision of a wide range of animals. Eye evolution turns out to be extremely variable depending on the feeding patterns and environment of each animal.

Dogs see in sepia and yellow, not pure black and white as people used to believe, while cats see in shades of gray, green and blue during daylight hours. However at night, cats have evolved a different vision pattern and can see very well. This is in part due to a special layer of tissue under the retina called the tapetum lucidum. It reflects visible light back through the retina, increasing the light available to the eye. The tapetum lucidum contributes to the excellent night vision of cats and is also the reason their eyes glow when a light is shined on them.

Other animals with differing vision from humans include snakes, who see the world as a blur of patterns but catch rapid movement; flies, who have compound eyes and really do see the world in slow motion; chameleons, who have independent eye vision in each eye that provides them with a 360 degree view of the world; bulls, who don't actually see in color but are irritated by movement; and hawks, who have 5x better focused vision that humans in order to see prey from long distances.
About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
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