• Question: why is it that humans are limited to the range of colours we see and why aren't our eyes eligible to see the range of other colours like some animals/insects are able to see ?

    Asked by to Chris, Sarah on 17 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Sarah Guerin

      Sarah Guerin answered on 17 Nov 2017:

      Our eyes contain a lot of water, which absorbs certain wavelengths of light, like infrared. The simplest answer is that we don’t need to see other parts of the light spectrum, so our eyes have evolved just to see the visible world around us- great question!

    • Photo: Chris Werner

      Chris Werner answered on 17 Nov 2017:

      Simply because we have evolved to not need it! Our range has been hypothesized to be related to foraging behaviors and our visual system is particularly sensitive in the frequency range of the coloring of (ripe) fruits, which is thought to have been of great benefit to our hominid ancestors. Insects and birds though can see UV light, which they need, it’s all down to the genetic mutations from millions of years ago which have evolved over time!