• Question: Do all animals see things the same way as humans, so dogs might see things in black and white

    Asked by 534bera34 to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 17 Nov 2014. This question was also asked by hsarah.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      I’ve never been able to understand the whole “dogs see in black and white” thing. I doubt we’ll ever know. But what we can determine from study diferent animals eyes is that they have different levels of receptors and capabilities and even different types of lenses. JUst like didgatl cameras you can figrue out from studying their eyes under a microscope how many pixels thaye see in . Flies have a a Holocroal eye composed of hundreds of crystals (trilobites had them too). But the eye is only half the story just like you digital camera has a processor, you brain is superb at picking out patterns and making sense of what you see while a Osprey might be way better at just spoting prey from an incfredibel height. So its a cobination of lens type/quality and processor power. So maybe dogs eyes are lower resolution than ours and they also have less processing power and only see in black and white or maybe the just don’t process patterns as well as humans do (like seeing faces/ghosts in rock formations and clouds).

      Great question!

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 21 Nov 2014:

      Hi 534bera34 and hsarah,

      Dogs, cats, mice, rats and rabbits have very poor color vision. In fact, they see mostly greys and some blues and yellows. So, dogs don’t see in complete black and white like an old movie, just a lot duller. You know that bulls are color-blind and can see in complete black and white. They charge the red cape because it is moving, not because it is red. Some animals do have good color vision. Monkeys, ground squirrels, birds, insects, and many fish can see a fairly good range of color. In some cases it’s not as good as what we humans see – but it’s much better than cats and dogs. For land animals, good color vision helps to tell the difference between ripe red fruit and unripe green fruit. Bees and butterflies can see colors that we can’t see. Their range of color vision extends into the ultraviolet. Cones in our eyes allow us to see color. Humans have three sets of these cones that allow them to detect color. Animals and other furry friends only have two sets of cones which explains why they do not see colors the same way we do.