SUB­SPECIES: Felis sil­vestris catus

I HAVE A MIR­ROR IN­SIDE MY EYE

iD magazine - - Nature -

This eye be­long to one of the most suc­cess­ful preda­tors on the planet. At night the pupils of Felis sil­vestris catus are twice as large as those of a hu­man. In ad­di­tion, its eyes shine in the dark. The rea­son for this is a layer of tis­sue be­hind the retina that func­tions like a mir­ror to re­flect cap­tured light rays back onto the retina. Re­sult: With the help of this resid­ual- light am­pli­fier, this an­i­mal can see in the dark about six times bet­ter than a hu­man can. And at 200 de­grees its vis­ual field is one-tenth larger than that of a hu­man. But we are hope­lessly in­fe­rior only at night: “Hu­mans have 10 times as many cone cells in their reti­nas than Felis sil­vestris catus does. So we see much more than they do in the light, plus more color,” says vet­eri­nar­ian Kerry Ketring of All An­i­mal Eye Clinic.

LIGHT AB­SORBER The pupils of Felis sil­vestris catus spe­cial­ize in the darkness. Though the pupils are re­duced to nar­row slits in bright light, they fill up the en­tire eye in darkness.

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