10 Animals that are colorblind or see in Black & White (List 2023)

Vision, like all the other senses in the body, has been subjected to evolutionary changes over the years. Loss of specific color vision is predominant in the animal kingdom, where animals become color blind to one or more colors, which do not play a significant role in their daily lives. A question that keeps surfacing is, Which are the Animals that are color blind? Therefore, in response to this question, we bring today’s article, 10 Animals that are Colorblind or see in Black and White. Without further delay, let’s get going with our write-up.

10) Skates

Image Source | R. Mintern (Wikipedia)


A cartilaginous fish and a close relative to the rays, Skates are the only animals on the planet known to man who sees the world in entirely black and white. Cone cells, which are responsible for color vision, are utterly absent in skates. Hence they are devoid of color vision.

This implies that any colored fish will appear in the shades of white and black on skates. Skates are marine and primarily feed on crabs, shrimps, lobsters, squids, small fishes, etc.

9) Bats

Image Source | Marie Jullion (Wikipedia)


Bats lack color vision. They are nocturnal predators who mostly rely on their heightened sense of hearing and echolocation to navigate and look for prey. Therefore, they do not possess a keen sense of vision. 

A study proves that fruit bats may either have only a long wavelength cone or a short wavelength cone. This implies that certain Fruit Bat are monochromatic and hence, have lost the ability for total color vision. Their laryngeal echolocation over color vision is one of the finest examples of an evolutionary tradeoff in a species.

8) Golden Hamsters

Golden Hamsters
Image Source | Adamjennison111 (Wikipedia)

Next up on our list of Animals that are colorblind, we have one of the most wanted pets, Golden Hamsters. Being nocturnal foragers, their vision suffers a deviation in terms of color vision.

Like Bats, Golden Hamster too relies on their other senses for navigation at night. They are monochromatic beings and therefore see only 1 color. Other color objects are mostly seen as black and white or in different shades of grey.

7) Common raccoon

Image Source |
David Menke (Wikipedia)

Just like the previous members on this list of Animals with color vision, the Common Raccoons are nocturnal hunters too. Therefore, color vision isn’t of great importance to them. Scientists believe that raccoons are either color blind or possess partial color vision.

Their eyesight is adapted to low light conditions and is not far-sighted. Raccoons mainly depend on their other senses, especially that of touch, to compensate for their poor color vision.

6) Harbor Seals

Harbor Seals
Image Source | Charles J. Sharp (Wikipedia)

Seals are exceptionally well adapted for life which involves staying underwater for long periods. Their eyesight functions best when staying underwater in murky conditions. Since seals lack one of the ancestral cone classes, therefore they are colorblind.

However, the ability to distinguish colors remains like a water drop on a leaf, as some studies conclude them to be color blind and see the world in shades of black, white, and grey, while others label them to have color vision.

5) Sea lions

Image Source | Rhododendrites (Wikipedia)

One of the closest relatives to the Seals is the Sea Lions, who do not possess one of the two ancestral cones. This makes them color blind, but according to studies, they can distinguish between the blue and green of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Sea lions, like seals, have their eyesight adapted for dark and murky underwater and possess a tapetum lucidum that gives them their night vision.

4) Walruses

Image Source | Joel Garlich-Miller (Wikipedia)

The next animal on our list of Animals that are color blind is the third member of the mammalian order, Pinnipeds, Walruses. Alongside seals and walruses, they too possess monochromacy. Walruses lack good and acute vision, as they mainly prey on sedentary bottom-dwelling marine life.

3) Whales

Image Source | World Wildlife Fund

Whales constitute a significant portion of the order called Cetaceans, along with Dolphins, the second member of the order. They are monochromatic mammals, as they have only one cone, which is green light sensitive.

They see the world mostly in shades of grey and black. Whales focus more on contrast than color perception and therefore see black and white in light and dark.

2) Dolphin

Image Source | NASA (Wikipedia)

Belonging to the Order Cetaceans, Dolphins are monochromatic animals too. Their cone is sensitive to the color blue, which helps them to dive into deeper waters in search of prey.

Apart from this, they mostly perceive the world in shades of grey or black and white. Their eyes are capable of independent movement; one can look in front while the other is behind simultaneously.

1) Flat haired mice

flat haired mice
Image Source | britannica (Wikipedia)

The last animal on our list of Animals that can see colors are Flat haired mice. Only two types of cones exist in mice, some of which are sensitive to ultraviolet light and others to green light. The distribution of the two cone kinds over the mouse eye’s back adds to the difficulty.

This implies that mice could see colors differently depending on where they are in a visual situation. A research finding showed that mice could distinguish between variations in hue and brightness. However, the mice’s capacity to do so relies on the location of the alteration.

This is where we come to the end of our article, 10 Animals that are colorblind or see in Black and White. Hope you have liked it. We will be back with more of such articles, so stay tuned until then.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. What animals are colorblind?

Ans. Animals with the absence of more than one type of cones are color blind to one or more colors. If an animal possesses only a Short Wavelength Sensitive Cone (SWS), then they are colorblind to colors like green, yellow, red, etc.

Q2. Why do animals become colorblind?

Ans. Animals become colorblind due to evolution. The evolutionary tradeoff is a term used to describe such changes, where the senses or the color vision which are more of use become honed, and the ones which do not play a significant role in daily life slowly gets erased.

Q3. Which animals are colorblind?

Ans. Animals like Bats, Skates, Hamsters, Whales, Dolphins, etc., are some Animals that are colorblind.

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