Eye-ronic

Lauren Szucki

Nocturnal vertebrae, like alligators, have a layer of cells below their rods and cones called the tapetum lucidum. Light is reflected off this layer back onto the rods and cones allowing improved vision in low light.

Compared to humans, cats have a higher rod to cone ratio which enables them to see better in low light. These cells still need to be stimulated for the animal to be able to see, so despite common misconceptions, cats cannot see in complete darkness.

Rhinos are known to have a great sense of smell and hearing while their vision is notoriously poor. They have difficulty seeing anything farther than 100 feet away even in a flat open plain, meaning that they must rely heavily on their other senses.

Geckos are another nocturnal species that have adapted to efficient hunting in the dark. They have very large cones which allow them to use colour vision in low light settings. Their rods are approximately 350 times more sensitive to light than those in human eyes.

Giant squids are the largest invertebrate on Earth with eyes that can grow to be approximately 10 inches in diameter, the size of a beach ball. Eyes this large allow them to detect prey and other objects deep in the ocean where this is little to no light.

Giraffes have a special arrangement of their rods and cones which allows them to simultaneously view both their feet and the area in front of them. The arrangement of their cones allows them to have excellent colour vision which helps them distinguish ripe fruits when foraging.

Science Meets Art

Science Meets Art (SMArt) is a science education and art initiative open to all students in the Faculty of Science at the University of Windsor.