Trying to use the human experience of color to understand what a fox can or cannot see is very difficult, without actually being able to experience what a fox sees. With that being said, a fox’s eyesight is a complex manner. Keep reading to find out more.
Cones And Rods
Cones and rods (located in the eye) are parts of the body, responsible for interpreting light and sending relevant signals to the brain. These cells are important and serve two different purposes. Rods are cells that are sensitive to low light levels, thus making them useful for seeing in low light and/or detecting movement. However, these cells only see in grey scale. Cone cells on the other hand are important cells when dealing with color. In order to better understand the color capabilities of foxes one would have to look at the type and distribution of cone cells to determine what colors they can or cannot see.
Studies that have been done on cone and rod cells in the eyes of foxes and dogs have found that there are far more rod cells. In addition, these rod cells only see black and white. Cone cells on the other hand are used to detect colors. Basically, what this means is that foxes and dogs are both able to see well at night and can also distinguish well between different shades of grey. The can also detect movement easily, which is important in a fox’s case as it helps them hunt their prey.
Studies of the cone cells found in foxes and dogs have shown that there are two cone pigments which tend to dominate the eyes of both animals. The first pigment is light green, otherwise known as 550nm on the electromagnetic spectrum. The other pigment is between 430 and 440nm on this spectrum. (Dark blue or purple). This means that foxes technically have dichromatic vision. Dichromatic vision is limited to two colors. Foxes are most likely red-green color blind. This type of blindness is shared by 6-8% of human beings.