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Animal night visionFeatured science projectScience project video


The hypothesis that dogs, cats and monkeys are able to see color in the dark. is proven to be correct.

Whilst most humans are asleep at night, nocturnal animals are active and emerge from their habitats to hunt for food. These nocturnal animals have a highly evolved sense of smell, hearing and night vision . Nocturnal birds like the owl have telescopic vision and the fruit bats use sonar for navigation and for finding food in the dark. Some animals are a little more unique. The cat, for example, is able to see effectively both in bright and dark environments.

Also consider

What would happen if this science fair project were to be repeated using other animals such as rats, hamsters or squirrels?

Try to repeat the experiment using various breeds of dogs, cats and monkeys.
Would your results differ if you were to restrict the animals' ability to smell by for example, introducing a strong, over-powering scent into the room?


Nocturnality -

Night vision -

Night vision optics- human versus animal -

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
14 days to prepare, 1 day for observation
Material availability:
You will need access to domesticated, trained animals. The dog and cat won't be a problem, but the monkey will take some effort to locate. Try asking your local zoo to help
Safety concerns:

Treat animals with respect and care - and ensure that they are handled by qualified trainers at all times. Although they may be domesticated, the animals may bite if unexpectedly provoked or agitated