The vision of hamsters

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Published by Julie
hamster sees in the dark

Like most nocturnal creatures, hamsters have vision adapted to life in the dark. One of the most frequently asked questions about this is: ?Can a hamster see in the dark??. Intriguing! Let's see together what are the characteristics of hamsters' vision, as well as their ability to adapt to different lighting conditions.

The eyes of hamsters

Just like in humans, the eyes of a hamster are made up of different elements such as the cornea, the iris, the lens and the retina. The retina is the part of the eye that captures light and allows the brain to transform this information into images.

But unlike humans, hamsters have a retina composed mostly of rods and few cones. This particularity has many consequences on the way they perceive the world around them.

Rods and cones are two types of photoreceptor cells present in the retina. Rods are responsible for night vision and motion perception, while cones are responsible for distinguishing colors.

In hamsters, the retina is composed of about 97% of rods and only 3% of cones. This means that hamsters have excellent night visionbut that they are on the other hand less sensitive to color and fine detail.

Can a hamster see in the dark?

Hamsters have relatively good night visionThey have a lot of rods in their retina. However, they do not see as well in the dark as some other animal species that are perfectly adapted to life at night. Their crepuscular and nocturnal behavior is mainly explained by their way of life wildIn this case, they had to avoid daytime predators and take advantage of the food resources available at night.

Even if their night vision is excellent, they cannot see perfectly in the dark. They need a minimum of light to be able to distinguish objects around them.

Can a hamster see colors?

Because of the low proportion of cones in their retina, hamsters have a limited color perception. It is generally believed that they are able to distinguish some shades of blue and green, but that they have a lot of difficulty in discerning warm colors like red, orange or yellow.

The vision of details is also less precise in hamsters than in humans. Indeed, their visual acuity is estimated at about 20/200This means that they do not see objects as clearly as we do.

Excellent motion detection

Due to the special structure of their retina and the arrangement of their eyes on their head, hamsters are very sensitive to movement. Their field of vision extends over about 340 degreesThis allows them to easily detect any movement around them. This ability to perceive movements is essential to avoid predators and to locate prey in their natural environment.

How to adapt your hamster's environment to its vision?

Understanding how a hamster sees can help you adapt its habitat and make its life more enjoyable and stimulating. Here are a few tips for taking into account the particularities of your little friend's vision:

  • Maintain an appropriate level of light As hamsters are most active at night, provide them with a quiet, subdued environment during the day. You can use blackout curtains to minimize light entering the room where the hamster is kept. cage.
  • Avoid brightly colored objects Hamsters do not perceive warm colors very well, so choose blue or green objects and accessories for their cage.
  • Stimulate their motion detection You can encourage your hamster to use his visual skills by offering him toys that move or by placing his food in places where he will have to catch it in motion.
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Photo of author
Published by Julie

Passionate about hamsters since I was young, I share with you all my knowledge about them!