• Question: What do animals see, why do they see in black and white?

    Asked by geenasaurusrex to Adam, Faye, Martin, Samantha on 23 May 2012. This question was also asked by jessicarrrx.
    • Photo: Adam Bibbey

      Adam Bibbey answered on 23 May 2012:


      Hi geenasaurusrex,

      It actually depends on the species of animal; some animals are able to see in colour and have better visual systems than humans whilst others canā€™t actually see in colour.

      Cells in the eyes called cones are what help us see in colour, whilst cells called rods help us to see in reduced light levels. So depending on how many of each an animal has, this will determine what they can see.

      Hope this helps, please feel free to ask any more questions.

    • Photo: Faye Didymus

      Faye Didymus answered on 26 May 2012:


      Hi geenasaurusrex! That’s a really interesting question šŸ™‚ Looking at how the animal live can give us some clues about what animals can see. Animals that eat fruit need to be able to tell which fruits are ripe and which are not, so monkeys, apes, and fruit-eating birds see in color. Insects that pollinate plants need to see colors to distinguish the right kinds of flowers for them, so bees and some other insects see some colors (and some can also see ultraviolet colors that humans can’t see). Animals that use the color of their own bodies as social signals often see in color, but not always. So lizards that flash colorful dewlaps in their territorial and mating displays usually see some color, as do most birds!

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