Latest Issue of Science News


Feature

Visionary Research

Scientists delve into the evolution of color vision in primates

The next time you appreciate the beauty of a rainbow or the subtle hues of an impressionist masterpiece, you'll be taking advantage of the human brain's palette of an estimated 2.3 million colors. Why do people and many nonhuman primate species have the capability to distinguish so many hues? How did it benefit our ancestors to evolve this trait? After all, most mammals seem to do just fine with a less-discerning color vision. Dogs, cats, and many other familiar mammals, for example, can't discriminate between reds and greens.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.