In NPR’s audio podcast called Why Do Animals’ Eyes Glow In The Dark?, we meet Dr. Cynthia Powell, a veterinary ophthalmologist at Colorado State University. Powell explains that when light enters the eyes it is supposed to hit photoreceptors that will then transmit the information to the brain. Many times the light doesn’t hit the photoreceptor, the retina. The retina is the back part of the eye that contains the cells that respond to light. This is where the tapetum lucidum acts as a mirror to bounce the light back for a second chance, giving nocturnal animals an advantage to see more of an image in the dark.The red fox uses more than its owl-like eyesight to survive in the wild. This fox has the ability to hear low-frequency sounds from long distances. It can hear rodents, rabbits, birds, and other small game digging under layers of snow and dirt. With intense concentration focused on movement and sound, the fox uses a high pounce technique, leaping into the air and diving headfirst into the snow.
Discovery “Fox Dives Headfirst Into Snow | North America” YouTube, July 5, 2013. Web. August 18, 2015.
LEARN MORE: 5 ANIMALS YOU DIDN’T KNOW WERE NOCTURNAL
In the NPR’s audio podcast Why Do Animals’ Eyes Glow In The Dark?, we discover that “glow in the dark” really means the reflection of any ambient light back toward the source, a mirror effect. Explain how the tapetum lucidum helps nocturnal animals see in darkness.