Have you always wondered how good the eyes of your gerbils are and how they perceive their environment?
Then in this article comes the answer.
We tell you:
What gerbils see and what they don’t
How far the animals see
How good the gerbil eyes are at night
Here we go.
How do gerbils see?
Gerbils have fairly good all-around vision, but can see better in the distance than up close. Although vision is well developed, the animals rely primarily on their sense of smell.
It had also long been assumed that gerbils were color blind, but in reality they have only red-green blindness.
They can perceive all other colors.
Can gerbils see well?
Yes, above all, the rodents’ farsightedness is excellently developed – and this fact is also important for survival, as gerbils are thus able to spot potential enemies already in the far distance and thus have enough time to flee from danger.
In addition, gerbils have nearly complete all-around vision and can see forward, backward, left and right, as well as upward and downward much more than most other creatures.
Up close, the animals do not see everything sharply, but this is not a problem because they have a keen sense of smell that can compensate well for this shortcoming.
What can gerbils see?
On the whole, it can be said that your gerbil sees almost the same as you do.
Not only can gerbils see movement and differences in brightness, but they can also recognize objects and faces.
It may well be that your gerbil is happy and immediately comes to the window of the terrarium when it sees you, although it tends to flee when it sees other people.
By the way, it will come to you even if you don’t talk to it, as it will recognize you by your gait and appearance.
However, animals’ vision becomes blurrier the closer they are to the object that is in their field of vision.
This is because they lack the so-called fovea.
This is a small dimple located on the retina and is responsible for the fact that we humans, for example, are able to recognize details.
So, in a way, you can say that the rodents’ vision is about the same as the vision of a farsighted person with red-green blindness.
Have you ever wondered how far your gerbil can see?
We’ll answer that question in the next section.
How far can gerbils see?
Because gerbils’ natural habitat covers vast areas, gerbils need to be able to spot birds of prey and other enemies from far away.
Even if they are not consciously looking for them at that moment.
It is not known exactly how far gerbils can see. However, it can be said that the animals can probably see about as far as a normal-sighted or farsighted human.
However, the radius is larger, which makes the animals’ field of vision much wider compared to humans.
This is how the eye of a gerbil is built!
Just like you, gerbils have a pupil, an iris, a cornea and retina, and a lens.
On the whole, rodents’ eyes work just like human eyes: light enters the eye through the pupil.
Exactly how much light enters is determined by the iris. This iris has the task of regulating the incidence of light and ensuring that neither too much nor too little of it enters the eye.
In other words, depending on how much light is available, the pupil is selectively dilated or contracted.
In plain language, this means that the pupil is very small in bright surroundings and becomes increasingly larger in dark surroundings.
It is very important that this function is well developed in gerbils, because in nature they go foraging especially at dusk and need good night vision.
The cornea has the task of focusing the light and transmitting it to the inside of the eye. With their increased activity at dusk, they also benefit from being able to see UV light.
This greatly improves vision in the dark.
If the light hits the cornea and is bundled there, the light now passes through the lens, where it is refracted once again and then continues its journey.
Now the light hits the retina, which functions like a kind of screen and generates the image.
Of course, the image is not generated directly in the eye, but rather the retina passes on all relevant information to the brain, where the image is finally created.
The retina has rods and cones, with the rods ensuring that the eyes can process light and the cones being responsible for color vision.
Can gerbils see colors?
We have basically already answered this question: Yes, gerbils are capable of seeing all colors.
Only green and red they can not recognize, these two colors look gray to gerbils.
However, this circumstance does not limit the animals in their life in any way!
Do the animals have depth perception?
Gerbils have almost no depth perception.
This is due to the fact that both eyes have to see the same object at the same time so that the brain can superimpose the images and thus create a 3D image.
However, since the rodents’ eyes are located on the side of the head, the images of the two eyes and correspondingly the information of the two hemispheres of the brain do not overlap.
As a result, the animals have a rather poor ability to estimate distances and take aim at the landing point for a while before they finally dare to jump off – and this despite the fact that gerbils are really excellent jumpers that can jump almost one meter high from the ground!
The aiming looks like your gerbil standing on both hind paws and bobbing its head and upper body up and down a bit….
A little bit like your pet is nodding exaggeratedly.
But how do we estimate the distance?
Quite simple: If the objects move fast for your pet, then this object is quite close. If, on the other hand, it moves along only a little or not at all, then the object is rather further away.
Do gerbils make decisions based on their vision?
It’s safe to say that gerbils do rely on their vision.
In the wild, for example, your rodent would immediately flee if it spotted a bird of prey, rather than using other senses to check whether the danger is real.
However, if your gerbil has the choice of trusting its eyes or its nose, your animal will choose its nose.
All in all, it can be said that while vision is an important part of life for gerbils, they can compensate for associated limitations with other senses.
For example, gerbils do not need their vision at all to reliably recognize and identify pack members. Each animal emits its own scent, which is unmistakable and immediately reveals whether it is a foreign animal or a member of the group.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
I take great pride in being the best possible author and giving you the knowledge that i have on all different types of animals!
I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
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