Why do some animals' eyes shine in the dark?

Why do some animals' eyes shine in the dark?

The eyes of some animals appear to shine in the dark. This is due to the tapetum lucidum, a layer of material that helps animals see in the dark—like cats, who can see six to eight times better than humans in dim lighting.

Why Do Some Animals' Eyes Shine In The Dark?​

05:13

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The tapetum lucidum is a reflective surface behind the retina that helps certain animals to see in the dark. (1:00)

  • 2

    A tapetum with five layers can reflect around 75% of the light that hits it. (2:18)

  • 3

    The color of the tapetum lucidum depends on proteins, minerals, imperfections, and pigments in the eyes. (4:06)

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