10 Most Common Animals with Dichromatic Vision (Dichromacy)

Color Vision in animals is one of its most valuable evolutionary features. The ability to see colors helps them to survive in nature. However, not all animals can see all colors in the world. Some animals have their color vision over only a few colors of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Unlike humans, who have trichromacy, certain animals have dichromacy. This implies that they have two cone cells in the retina of their eyes, making them color blind to a segment of colors from the visible spectrum.

Among curious minds, a question has been surfacing, Which Animals have Dichromatic Vision? To address this question, we have come up with today’s article, 10 Most Common Animals with dichromatic vision (Dichromacy).

10) Lions


Our first animals in today’s list of Animals with dichromatic vision are Lions. It might be surprising, but yes, Lions, one of the biggest members of the Cat family, are dichromats. 

Lions have two cone cells that help them to perceive two primary colors of the electromagnetic spectrum, Blue and Green. Higher wavelength sensitive cones are absent; therefore, colors in that range are generally seen as gray and its shades. Lions have an abundance of rods in their retina, which gives them excellent night vision.

9) Elephants


From the giant cats to the biggest land mammals, dichromacy covers them all. Like other dichromats, they have two cones for color perception. These two cones correspond to two colors of the electromagnetic spectrum, Red and Green.

Another feature of the elephant’s vision is that it is arrhythmic. Their vision shifts to blue and violet at night, which enables them to see even in the lowest of lights. Their peripheral vision is not advanced as well.

8) Squirrels


The color vision of squirrels is quite similar to the other animals on our list. They have two cone cells for color perception. These cones are blue and green light sensitive.

They have cones with peak sensitivities of 440 nm and 540 nm. This implies that they can see the colors blue and green, but not red. Long wavelength colors like red and orange are perceived as greenish-yellow.

7) Rabbits


Rabbits are our next animals with dichromatic vision. The bunnies, which we see hopping around, actually possess a color vision. Rabbits have two cone cells: blue light sensitive and green light sensitive.

The Short Wavelength Sensitive cone has its peak sensitivity at 425-430 nm, while the Long Wavelength Sensitive Cone has that at 520 nm. 

Rabbits are colorblind to Red-Green and have difficulty telling them apart. They cannot perceive higher wavelength light like red, making them blind to red and its hues.

6) Horses


Next up on our list of Most Common Animals with Dichromatic Vision we have Horses. Just like other dichromatic animals, Horses have two cones, which are responsible for their color perception.

The cones in the retina of horses are Short Wavelength Sensitive (SWS) and Medium Wavelength Sensitive (MWS). This helps them to perceive blue and yellow colors, but they have difficulty distinguishing red from other colors. High wavelength colors like red and orange are perceived as grey, and their hues.

5) Rats


Did you know these squeaky little creatures have dichromacy? Well, like most mammals are dichromats, rats are no exception. They are nocturnal animals, which makes their color vision not an advantageous position.

However, they have color vision and can see two basic colors, blue and green. However, like many other dichromats, they cannot see the color red, which depicts their absence of the Long Wavelength Sensitive (SWS) cone. The Short Wavelength Sensitive (SWS) cone even enables them to perceive Ultraviolet Light.

4) Cows


Cows are indeed one of the most common animals we encounter in our daily lives. Their dichromacy implies that they have two cones in the retina of their eye. These two cones extend their color vision over the colors blue and yellow.

The Large Wavelength Sensitive (LWS) cone is absent; therefore, they do not see the color red or orange. So next time you see a bull running towards a waving red cloth, remember it’s the waving movement, not the red color.

3) Goats


Goats are the next animal in our today’s list of Most Common Animals with Dichromatic Vision. They have two cones in their eyes because they are dichromatic. One detects blue light, while the other detects green light.

They lack the SWS cone that can distinguish between the many shades of red. As a result, they cannot perceive red separately. As a result, these colors are seen as a continuous shade of the greenish-yellow color.

2) Domestic Cats


The next animal in our list of 10 Most Common Animals with dichromatic vision is the Domestic House Cat. Undoubtedly one of the most common animals, the house cat, has only two cones, like the other animals on the list. 

Their two cones help in the perception of two regions of the visible spectrum, blue and green. Colors like violet and yellow are perceived by the blue and green cone, respectively. However, cats cannot perceive colors with large wavelengths like red, as they lack the cone to do so.

1) Dogs


Another most common animal with dichromatic vision is the dog. You might not be aware, but our furry friends are dichromats. Unlike humans, who have three cones, their best friends, dogs, have two cones.

These cones help in the perception of mainly two colors, blue and yellow. Dogs are colorblind to all other colors like orange, red, etc. These colors are seen as grey and its shades. However, they have excellent night vision due to the abundance of rod cells.

Here, we come to the end of our article on “10 Most Common Animals with dichromatic vision (Dichromacy).” We cover articles on several niches, from animal vision to hearing, from wild animals to your regular household pets. So keep a close watch on our website for more of such fun and exciting articles.

Also Read:

Leave a Comment