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Not So Black and White

We've always felt bad for our dogs for not being able to see what we do.  While we see in brilliant color, we've assumed that our dogs only see in shades of grey.  

What do we call them? Colorblind.  But is this true?  

Actually, no.  You would be surprised to know that the thought that dogs are colorblind is actually a myth.  

So why have we said that they are colorblind?  It's because they simply don't see everything we see.  To completely understand what a dog can and cannot see, you first have to understand the anatomy of the eye.

Every eye, in every animal, has rods and cones.  Rods tell us what is dim and what is bright, which we interpret as black and white.  Every animal has rods.  When it comes to cones, however, the number of cones in an eye depends on your species.  As humans, we have three cones.  This means that we can see yellow, green and violet.  Dogs, however, only have two cones.

While humans see the rainbow as violet, blue, blue-green, green, yellow, orange and red, dogs see the rainbow as dark blue, light blue, gray, light yellow, darker yellow (almost brown), and very dark gray.  This is a big difference, because it means that dogs see the world in only yellow, blue and gray.

But that's two more colors than we originally thought!  We feel bad that dogs can't see the vibrancy of their tennis ball, but really they just see it as a little yellow instead of a lot green.  

Dogs aren't colorblind, they just see a little less than we do.  So I'll leave you with this parody trailer, which is not quite accurate, but hilarious anyway.

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Jenna Gomes

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Jenna Gomes