Seeing Eye to Eye

Do animals REALLY see eye to eye?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Most humans have the ability to detect color and perceive depth. But have you ever wondered how animals see the world?

Eleanor Caves at Duke University studies how animals’ vision influences their behavior.

With help from colleagues, she gathered data on animal eyesight. She coupled  this information with a computer program. Then she recreated stock images of how animals perceive their surroundings.

Turns out light, colors, pattern recognition, and depth perception differ wildly between birds, bugs, and other critters. It was like comparing stock photos captured with wacky Instagram filters! So, does this affect their social networking?

Yes! Like our friend Charlotte, spiders may use their webs to message their neighbors after all. A spiderweb is visible to a pigeon from SIX FEET away! This may help spiders signal and prevent birds from flying through their webs.

Meanwhile, mosquitoes can’t see a spiderweb until they’re ONE centimeter away. Clearly spiders don’t want to share their location with EVERYONE!

For mosquitoes, it’s all a blur! Before the light at the end of the tunnel. Chomp!