How can dogs see in dim light?

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Dogs are able to see in dim light because of a reflective layer just beneath their retinas, called the Tapetum Lucidum. This translatess to “bright tapestry,” which makes sense when you see the reflective layer. In the dark, a dog’s eyes glow a specific color based on the amount of pigment present in the retina. This reflective layer allows dogs to see very well at night.

When light hits the eye, it comes in contact with a photo-receptor that sends information to the brain. When light doesn’t hit the photo-receptor in dogs, the light is bounced back by the Tapetum Lucidum in order to give the light a second chance at being picked up by the brain. People lack the Tapetum Lucidum, rendering them poorly equipped for low-light or dark environments.

A number of other animals have the Tapetum Lucidum and are able to see very well at night and in dim lighting, including horses, ferrets, cats, deer and cattle. These animals have a clear advantage over other predators and prey in the wild because of their excellent night vision.

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