How Do They See

We take for granted how we see the world around us, but have we ever wondered about how animals see? Recent scientific investigation has revealed an amazing world of vision diversity in the animal kingdom. Here are a few examples.

Horses have an amazing range of vision due to their binocular vision, with their eyes located on the sides of their heads. But they cannot see what is right in front of them between their eyes, which is why they often look down as they walk.

Old world monkeys and apes mainly see as humans do, so they pick up red, green, and blue. But many new world monkeys do not. In fact, in the same family of monkeys there can be up to six different types of colour blindness. As with their human cousins, color blindness is more common in males than in females.

Many birds can see differently. Pigeons, for example, can see literally millions of different hues and are thought to be better at color detection than any animal on earth.

Cats and dogs do not have strong vision. They rely primarily on scent and sound. Cats in particular have weak vision, and are colour blind. Dogs can sometimes tell the difference between yellow and blue, for example. Cats are best at focusing narrowly on one object (for hunting), and they do have better night vision than humans. Both dogs and cats have better perspective and depth perception, due to the placement of their eyes, than human beings do.

Because of segmented eye structure, many insects see objects very differently from what humans perceive. Insects are famous for their dot-like eyes, known as ommatidia. Some have as many as 30,000 lenses per eyeball. But perhaps most interesting is the dragonfly, whose brain works so rapidly, it perceives most movement in slow motion. Insects do see color, but not usually as clearly as other animals. Their vision assists them in detecting movement. That’s why they’re so hard to kill!

Interesting facts about your eyes