Skip to content
CBBC on TV
Search the BBC
Pictures: How animals see the world
3 July 2012
Last updated at 13:55
Scientists at the Royal Society’s annual Summer Exhibition are explaining how we can understand the visual world from an animal perspective.
New pictures have been put on show which help scientists explain how animals see colours differently to us. To see why this peacock looks purple, look at the next picture!
Birds can see very different colours from humans because their eyes can see ultraviolet light, which looks more 'purple' to us. We're used to seeing what's on the left but some birds see what's on the right. It means a peacock with its feathers fully open could look scarier to other birds than it does to us.
Lots of mammals' eyes can't see red or orange. Animals like dogs rely so much on their sense of smell that their vision isn't as good. This is how a dog would see its owner's legs. It's almost like black and white.
This ball is actually red, but this grey colour is what the scientists think it would look like to a dog. The Royal Society exhibition of these pictures gives people the chance to use special glasses to simulate what an animal can see.
The top half of this photo is how a red squirrel would see another. So it appears they wouldn't know the difference between a red and a grey squirrel by sight alone.
The colourful bodies of some beetles means more to other insects than they do to us. In this picture, instruments are used to measure if there are more colours than our eyes can see.
And this is what the beetle could look like to other creatures. Dr Tom Pike from the University of Lincoln is helping with the research. He says the experts think the creatures could have some kind of 'hidden communication channel' to help them talk to each other using their appearance.
These are the special glasses visitors can use at the exhibition, to simulate what animals can see. It's at the Royal Society at Carlton House Terrace in London with free entry, until Sunday 8 July.