• Question: Can all animals see color

    Asked by emmacos123 to Andrew, Eileen on 20 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Andrew Jackson

      Andrew Jackson answered on 20 Nov 2012:

      No is the quick answer. Humans see three colors – red, green and blue, which when mixed together can produce all the colours in between. Many animals, like dogs and cats can not see colour and they see the world in something pretty much black and white. On the other hand, some animals, like many birds, can see an extra colour to us! They can see ultraviolet light (which is off the rainbow beyond purple in our vision) and so see the world very differently to us. Some of the birds of prey like eagles, use this extra colour to see the trails of urine (pee) that small mice and rats put down to mark the boundaries of their territories. Urine reflects ultraviolet light, so the eagles can simply work out where the little mouse is living and swoop down for a nice supper when the little dude sticks his head out of his hole… if only he had crossed his legs and waited till he got home 🙂

    • Photo: Eileen Diskin

      Eileen Diskin answered on 23 Nov 2012:

      Hi @emmacos123! Nope, its pretty cool actually how different animals can see. Some see lots of colours, like us. Some see more – like the pigeon, which is one of the best at seeing colours, can see millions of hues! While others see no colours at all. And there are some animals that just see shapes or shadows. This is because the structure of the eye varies a bit from animal to animal.

      Here’s a cool website which shows you how some different animals view the world. Which do you think you’d pick? (I think the pigeons view is pretty cool).