Eyesight question -- Do any animals see in a spectrum other than visible light and infrared?

  • Thread starter zuz
  • Start date
  • #1
zuz
73
30
Do any animals see in a spectrum other than visible light and infrared?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
hutchphd
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2022 Award
5,358
4,517
Bees and butterflies see into the ultraviolet. But as far as I know most animal vision is rather narrowly centered at the max solar ouput (yellow light).
 
  • #3
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
2022 Award
22,254
6,326
Some animals, such as certain insects, can see into the near-UV, but as hutchphd said most animals see approximately the same spectrum as we do.
 
  • Like
Likes Nik_2213, Klystron and BillTre
  • #4
gleem
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
2,085
1,512
While pit vipers may not really see they do sense infrared and are capable of finding warm blooded prey in the dark. Apparently some fish, insects, frogs, and vampire bats can "see" the infrared spectrum.
 
  • Like
Likes Nik_2213, Klystron and BillTre
  • #5
zuz
73
30
Yeah. That's pretty much what I thought. Thanks.
 
  • #6
36,698
8,687
Bees and butterflies see into the ultraviolet. But as far as I know most animal vision is rather narrowly centered at the max solar ouput (yellow light).
I found several images of how humans and bees view flowers differently.
PrimroseDM0708_468x259.jpg

Here's one of a primrose, as seen by a human vs. as seen by a bee, according to Norwegian scientist-cameraman Bjorn Roslett, in the Daily Mail, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/science...-view-How-insects-flowers-differently-us.html. The image on the right is in ultraviolet, which is presumably the part of the spectrum that bees can see.
Because we cannot see UV light, the colours in these photographs are representational, but the patterns are real.
 
  • Like
Likes hutchphd, Nik_2213 and jim mcnamara
  • #7
BillTre
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2022 Award
2,213
7,348
Bees can see near UV which for them is called bee-purple.
Patterns on flowers can provide target patterns leading the bees to the pollen the flowers want (anthropomorphically speaking) the bees to find for pollination purposes.
A variety of animals can also see polarized light also. But not in unusual wavelengths.
 
  • Like
Likes Nik_2213 and jim mcnamara
  • #8
Rive
Science Advisor
2,453
1,869
An interesting example will pop up if you make a search for 'hawk rodent urine trail' :wink:
 
Last edited:
  • #9
256bits
Gold Member
3,763
1,790
This is certainly interesting.

Hummingbirds see colours humans can only imagine | UBC Science - Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia
The wide variety of nonspectral colours available to birds is the result of their ancient four colour cone visual system.

"Tetrachromacy — having four colour cone types — evolved in early vertebrates," said Stoddard. "This colour vision system is the norm for birds, many fish and reptiles, and it almost certainly existed in dinosaurs. We think the ability to perceive many nonspectral colours is not just a feat of hummingbirds but a widespread feature of animal colour vision.

For humans, purple is the clearest example of a nonspectral colour. Technically, purple is not in the rainbow: it arises when our blue (short-wave) and red (long-wave) cones are stimulated, but not green (medium-wave) cones. While humans perceive just one kind of nonspectral colour — purple — birds can theoretically see up to five: purple, ultraviolet+red, ultraviolet+green, ultraviolet+yellow and ultraviolet+purple.

https://science.ubc.ca/news/hummingbirds-see-colours-humans-can-only-imagine
 
  • #10
BillTre
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2022 Award
2,213
7,348
Snapping shrimp appear to win with 12 to 16 (yes, twelve to sixteen!) "color" receptor cells.
Some of the distinctions may be due to filtering of incoming light by lens chemicals before it gets to the photo receptive cells of the compound eye rather than different receptor molecules.
Some species can detect circularly polarized light.
Not all of the different colors may be combined into a single "colorized" image. Different photoreceptor cells project their connections to different parts of the snapping shrimp brain.
Some of these different "colors" may be involved in mating displays and attractions (which could be separate specialized systems in the brain (small though it be)).
 

Suggested for: Eyesight question -- Do any animals see in a spectrum other than visible light and infrared?

Replies
7
Views
548
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
526
Replies
23
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
615
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
695
Replies
20
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
Top