Six Animals With Incredible Vision

There’s an amazing range of vision in the animal kingdom. Some animals can spot prey from over a mile away, while others have relatively poor vision. But animal vision is more complex than just being good or bad; there are other factors to consider, such as the ability to see color or to see in the dark. With all these factors in mind, read on to learn about eight types of animals with incredible vision.

1. Hawks, eagles, and owls

This entry probably won’t surprise you. Birds of prey have incredibly sharp vision, which they use to hunt prey from the air. Eagles in particular can see about eight times as far as humans can!

2. Mantis Shrimp

The human eye contains three different cones. These cones allow us to see colors ranging from red to violet and all shades in between. In contrast, the mantis shrimp has sixteen cones! We can’t be sure what colors mantis shrimp see, exactly, but we know they have very advanced color recognition abilities.

3. Cats

As nocturnal predators, cats–from the housecat to the lion–have developed the ability to see well in low light. If you’ve ever seen a cat’s eyes shining at you in the dark, you’ve seen their impressive night vision in action. A key part of this is the reflective membrane that cats have in their eyes, which magnifies the amount of light entering the eye.

4. Goats and sheep

When you think of animals with great vision, you probably imagine predators. What many people don’t realize is that the horizontal pupils of goats and sheep give them an amazing 330-degree field of vision, meaning they can see almost everything that isn’t directly behind them. As you can imagine, this makes it extremely difficult for predators to sneak up on them!

Goat from the Netherlands looks for delicious food. Selective focus

5. Chameleons

One of the only animals with a wider range of vision than sheep and goats is the chameleon. Chameleons’ eyes can swivel far enough to give them the full 360 degrees of vision. Beyond that, each of the chameleon’s eyes can operates independently of the other. The chameleon is capable of processing two totally different images from each eye at the same time.

A funny green chameleon in posing on a branch in the tropical island of Nosy be. Chameleons are endemic of Madagascar where you can find a lot of different species of this reptile.

6. Dragonflies

There’s yet another way to have an enormous field of vision: compound eyes. Dragonflies have compound eyes almost large enough to cover their heads, and as a result can see in all directions at the same time. They can also see ultraviolet colors which humans can’t, and are even able to detect the plane of polarization of light.

Close-up of a red colored male ruddy darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) hanging on vegetation. Resting in sunlight in a meadow.

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