We’re back for EleFACT Friday, and today is all about eyes. In the elephant’s retina, there are cones that specifically perceive red hues and others for green. This is referred to as “dichromatic” vision. In human eyes, there are cones for red, blue, and green, making us “trichromatic.” It has been said that color-blind humans share identical sets of visual pigments with elephants, meaning that they can see the colors blue and yellow but reds and greens are not distinguishable.
Elephants are also an Arrhythmic species, which means they can see as well in dim light as they can in the light of day. The retina in the elephant’s eye can adapt and change quickly based on the amount of daylight available. At night, their eyes are most sensitive to blue and violet light, meaning their eyes are fairly well equipped for travel or activity during the darkest hours of the night. However, their range of vision is clear up to only about 10 meters, and they can only see for short distances up to 25 meters.
Photo is of Bambi and her soulful eye.
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Katie Howard saysApril 9, 2021 at 3:20 pm
Soooo…elephants don’t see green? Isn’t much of their browse green and why is green (of various shades) so often the coats worn by carers/keepers at elephant facilities? I’m trying to figure out why that would be preferred?
Sara saysApril 9, 2021 at 3:39 pm
Well, elephants don’t know that there are colors they can’t see. So browse and grass looks exactly the way it’s supposed to in their eyes. They don’t know that to us, it’s “green.” Caregivers often try not to wear colors like red or anything else that might trigger negative physical or emotional responses due to any prior trauma the elephant has experienced.
SHEILA saysApril 9, 2021 at 3:32 pm
THANKS FOR INFO! WELL IF ????CANT SEE FAR THEY SURE CAN SMELL AND HEAR VERY KEENLY??THEY SURE MANAGE TO KNOW WHERE TO GO WHEN THE FOOD TRUCK IS NEAR???
Katie Howard saysApril 9, 2021 at 3:45 pm
Thank you! That makes perfect sense.
BC saysApril 9, 2021 at 3:54 pm
Can you put both yards, feet or miles along with meters we don’t use meters in America.
Sara saysApril 9, 2021 at 5:37 pm
We try to do that when we can, but sometimes we forget. Because the rest of the world uses the metric system (as we do here in Brazil), our brains tend to default to that. But, if all else fails, Google can always help!
Sue saysApril 9, 2021 at 4:37 pm
Thank you for this EleFact today! So fascinating!! I love Elephant’s eyes. To me, they are so expressive. I loved Sweet Guida’s eyes, as well as the rest of her, but her eyes were especially beautiful to me. Thank you for Bambi’s closeup!! Love and hugs everyone ❤️?❤️
SALLIE saysApril 9, 2021 at 9:10 pm
WHAT A FABULOUS PHOTO! SO PERSONAL, SO MUCH AN INSIGHT TO GUIDA’S PERSONALITY. GORGEOUS EYES. A TRUE PRIVILEGE TO SEE . . .
Beji saysApril 10, 2021 at 8:58 am
I think Bambi is trying to wink at me! She’s so pretty!
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EleFact Friday: Through the Eyes of an Elephant