10 Photos That Show Us How Animals See the World Through Their Own Eyes
The world might look like a colorful place, but it really depends on what your eyes let you see. Humans, for example, are sensitive to just 3 colors: red, blue, and green, but this allows us to see the millions of colors derived from them. While animals have eyes that come with all different kinds of “vision,” with some even being able to see colors we can only imagine.
We at Bright Side love animals and science, so we’re giving you a firsthand look at what animals can see through their own eyes.
Birds have 4 types of cone cells in their eyes, while humans only have 3. Not only can they see more colors than we can, but they also see ultraviolet. Because of this, when looking at a blackbird, for example, another bird might see them as colorful. That said, no 2 birds are alike. Only a few birds, for example, canaries, are believed to be able to see the color blue.
Cats have more rods in their eyes than we do, allowing them to see in poor light. Generally, the world looks much more blurry to cats than to humans, but they have a larger visual field, meaning they see more at once than we do. For comparison’s sake, we can see 180 degrees around us, but cats see 200 degrees around themselves.
3. Mantis shrimp
The mantis shrimp might just have one of the most complex eyes known to man: they have up to 16 photoreceptors and their filters divide ultraviolet light into distinct colors. Given how colorful the shrimp already looks to us, one can only imagine what they look like to others of their kind!
If you’ve ever looked at a goat, you might have noticed something special about their eyes: they have rectangular pupils. This allows them to have a better depth sense and improved peripheral vision. Their split pupils also control how much light they take in, helping them to both see better in the dark, but not be blinded by the sun during the day.
Scorpions often have 2 eyes in the front, but they don’t stop there: they can have up to 5 extra pairs of eyes on the side! Don’t forget, they’re arachnids, like spiders. Despite having so many eyes, their eyes seem to only be able to sense the difference between darkness and light and possibly movement. That said, it all varies by species, some scorpions don’t have eyes at all!
Despite the old saying, bats are not actually blind. It’s true that they use their ears to find food in a process called echolocation, which allows them to “see” in the dark, but they still use their eyes for daily activities and social interactions. What a bat actually sees, however, varies by species: many are completely color-blind while others can see certain colors thanks to proteins in their eyes. Some of them can even see red, a color a lot of animals can’t see at all.
7. Mole rats
Mole rats don’t have much use for their eyes, as they live underground, but they can detect the difference between light and dark. Unlike true “moles,” most mole rats actually do have external, if extremely tiny, eyes, which might allow them to see color. Their eyes have some sensitivity to blue and greenish-yellow light, suggesting they are not truly colorblind, but they cannot see red and it’s unclear if they can differentiate between the colors. One exception, however, is the blind mole rat, whose eyes are indeed covered by a layer of skin and don’t appear to react to light.
Like a lot of animals we talked about so far, rabbits cannot see the color red. Rabbits also have the pupil area in their eyes like humans do, but it is not indented like in people, which causes them to have grainy vision. Finally, because rabbits have eyes on the sides of their heads, they can usually see in more directions than people can.
The colossal squid has one of the biggest eyes in the animal kingdom. Facing forward, their vision can be compared to binoculars. Thanks to their photophores, they can also produce light to help see prey in the dark.
Many worms, especially earthworms, don’t even have eyes to begin with, but whether or not they can “see” is complicated. They do have light receptors, allowing them to tell the difference between darkness and light. This helps them tell the difference between being above and below the ground.
What are other ways that the world looks different to animals?