Wild World

Why is the tiger so bright red if he lives and hunts in the middle of green thickets

Ever since school days, every person should remember that the appearance of most animals either allows them to disguise themselves or scare off potential opponents. If so, why are tigers so red? It is unlikely that a 250-kilogram “kitten” needs to scare someone away from itself. It is quite obvious that as an alpha predator, it is much more important for a tiger to be able to hide in the thickets to sneak up on the future breakfast. What is the secret of unusual coloring?


Proud animal.  |Photo: krasivosti.pro.
Proud animal. |Photo: krasivosti.pro.

In fact, everything is quite simple. A person uses bright “sunny” colors to attract attention. Orange is also used for this purpose. However, animals perceive colors differently than Homo sapiens. The fact is that a reasonable person, thanks to evolution, has developed trichromatism – the so-called “three-color vision.” Thanks to him, a person sees all three primary colors – red, green and blue, as well as intermediate colors formed as a result of “mixing” the primary ones.

Animals see things differently. |Photo: myplanet-ua.com.

It works like this. Light from the outside world enters the eye on the retina, which processes the received information with the help of special light receptors from rods and boxes. The rods in the retina only recognize differences in the degree of illumination or darkness. Boxes allow you to perceive colors directly. Accordingly, most people have three types of boxes in the retina: for blue, for red, for green. The absence or violation of one of the types of boxes is the same color blindness.

Most animals see a tiger like this.  |Photo: blogspot.com.
Most animals see a tiger like this. |Photo: blogspot.com.

Trichromatism is characteristic of humans, as well as many other (though by no means all) primates. However, most land mammals have dichromatic vision. In other words, their retinas only have boxes for processing two colors. Most often it is blue and green. In fact, colorblind people have the same vision. So it turns out that beings with dichromatic vision are not able to recognize the colors yellow and orange, which are obtained by mixing red and green. Thus, for a tasty juicy deer, the tiger looks … green. And this makes it much more difficult to detect a predatory cat sneaking in the thickets.

Big proud cats.  ¦Photo: Pinterest.
Big proud cats. ¦Photo: Pinterest.

By the way, another interesting fact is that green fur does not exist in nature. Somehow, mother evolution “decided” that this would be extremely impractical in matters of survival.

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