Do Humans Have Tapetum Lucidum?


Quick Answer

Humans do not have the tapetum lucidum. The tapetum lucidum is a reflecting structure that many animals have behind the retinas of their eyes. It is present in the eyes of many vertebrates, including dogs, cats, horses and deer, but humans and some other primates do not have it.

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Full Answer

The phenomenon where some animals' eyes seem to glow in the dark or in flash photographs is caused by the tapetum lucidum, a structure whose function is to provide extra light stimulation in the dark that enables better vision at night. The different colors seen in different species are due to the pigments in the retinas and different substances that make up the tapetum. Humans sometimes exhibit "red eyes" in photographs, but this is due to light reflecting off their retinas not the presence of a tapetum lucidum.

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