The researchers studied data from hundreds of species of vertebrates and invertebrates to see how different these animals’ view of the world might be.
You can imagine that what the animal sees depends on the habitat, among other things. If you live in a forest, there is a different amount of light to work with than when you’re wandering around the steppe or when you’re swimming around a reef. So seeing most of the animals has intelligently adapted to the environment in which the animal lives.
For example, researchers saw from the data that land animals can see colors better than aquatic animals. And that animals that live in the open plains can see more colors than animals that live in the forest.
But the environment is not the only influential factor. The cells that vertebrates like humans and fish use and invertebrates like insects and jellyfish use to detect and process light are slightly different. As a result, invertebrates see more colors with a shorter wavelength, such as shades of violet and blue.
The study doesn’t yet answer all the questions about animals’ vision, but it’s certainly intriguing.