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Infra red and ultra violet vision

  1. Jun 22, 2012 #1
    I heard that snakes can see infra red waves and e.g. bees can see ultra violet light.
    so... infra red = heat = snakes have heat vision?
    and do bees see ultra violet as a color? if yes, does it mix with other colors or is it like a filter?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Jun 22, 2012 #3
    Actually, snakes don't "see" IR, their pit organs (ie the name pit vipers) sense the heat, which is much longer wavelength than near ir like the type visualized in infrared photography.
    Some people have a similar sense, albeit much weaker....have you ever felt the radiant heat of a stove or campfire on your face?
  5. Jun 22, 2012 #4
    I’m not sure what your logic train is Hypercharge, but it seems to me that you are making this more complex than it is. This is basically the same as dogs being able to hear high pitched whistles that we cannot. They can do that because their ears are sensitive to sound wave frequencies that our ears are not sensitive to. If snakes can see infra-red and bees can see ultra-violet, then all it means is that their eyes are sensitive to electro-magnetic radiation frequencies that ours are not sensitive to. And the question of what colour bees see ultra-violet light as assumes that they have trichromatic vision. I would hazard a guess that they do not. Humans are one of the very few species that do.
  6. Jun 23, 2012 #5
    Obvious, I tend to make things appear more complex than they are to me (bit of a problem for me).
    So I presume snakes might not see the heat, they sense it just very much better than we do.
    gah, I'm being too anthropocentric... Thanks anyways.
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