Are deer color blind?


Quick Answer

Deer are not color-blind. Deer can see in color, but the range of colors they see is different from normal human vision. Their vision is comparable in some ways to that of a human with red-green color blindness.

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Full Answer

Although they cannot see red or orange, deer can see ultraviolet under low-light conditions. They also see blue and violet more acutely than humans because the human eye contains a filter that partially blocks light in that range.

Vision in mammals is provided by two sets of cells that pick up light inside the eye and relay that sensation to the brain. The kind of cells that sense color, the cone cells, are further specialized to pick up only certain kinds of colors. Humans have three different kinds of cone cells and can detect the entire visible light spectrum. Deer only have two sets of cones and cannot distinguish between red, orange or green.

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