Can Wolves See Color? (Experience Wolf Vision!)

Wolves can see color, but they don’t see the same colors as humans do. Instead, they only differentiate between yellow and blue colors and have worse color receptors than humans, and they have stronger receptors for grey and black.

But wolves don’t rely on their eyesight as some other animals do. Instead, they will rely on other senses, especially their smell, which is several times more powerful than the sense of smell of humans, and other animals.

Can Wolves See Color

Can Wolves See Color?

Yes, wolves can see colors, but they’re much paler and not as saturated as we can see them, or as other animals can see them.

Here is a general difference between the color spectrum of wolves and humans:

the spectrum of a wolf's visible light from gold to blue
Image: The wolf’s visible light spectrum
the spectrum of a human's visible light (a rainbow pattern)
Image: The human’s visible light spectrum

Wolves’ color receptors are not as developed as they are with humans, and this means that wolves don’t see colors as clearly as we can, although they can see some colors like red and yellow, as well as other hues.

However, the colors they see are not nearly as sharp and well-defined as the colors we can see with our eyes.

The reason for that is because they have only two cones for viewing colors, which is less than humans. Cones are essentially receptors for viewing colors, which allow the wolf to distinguish colors and clearly separate them from other colors.

But they’re not completely color-blind, either. While they can only see black and white at night, they can see some colors during the day.

These colors are not as saturated as we can see them, but wolves are able to distinguish between those colors.

Read Also: What Colors can Wolves Be?

What can Wolves See?

If a wolf were looking at a field of cows (perhaps for lunch!), here’s a general guide to their vision compared to that of a human:

Human Vision

a bright green scene representing what humans can see

Wolf Vision

a scene with sepia tones rather than full color

Human Vision

a bright green scene representing what humans can see

Wolf Vision

a scene with sepia tones rather than full color

These examples above show how a wolf perceives color, however, they are not a fully accurate representation of a wolf’s vision.

Related Article: 5 Amazing Wolf Hunting and Survival Tactics

Do Wolves Have Good Eyesight?

The wolf eyesight is good, although not as well developed as the eyesight of some other predators in the wild.

They can see 180 degrees around them and they have eyes that face in front of them, which is necessary for predators. This is unlike the animals they prey on, which have a 300-degree eyesight.

But a wolf’s eyesight is more than enough for them to allow them to see the animals and movements in front of them.

One of the advantages they have over our eyesight is that they can see much further into the distance, which is thanks to the narrower eyesight that allows them to see further.

However, one of the downsides of their eyesight is that they can’t see objects as sharp as we can. While they will distinguish basic shapes in front of them, they’re not very good at finding and recognizing details as well as our eyes can.

So their eyesight is good enough for their predatory needs, but it’s not up to par with the eyesight of humans.

Instead, they will rely more on other senses when they hunt – more specifically, on smell and hearing. They have an exceptional sense of smell and they can hear very well, which is essential when they hunt.

Read Also: Do Wolves have Webbed Feet?

What Colors Can a Wolf See?

A wolf can see various colors like yellow, green, and blue.

However, the colors they can see are not as saturated as we see them. Instead, they’re much paler and almost closer to gray than the colors we can see, because they have stronger receptors for viewing gray.

Other colors that we can see will appear for wolves in the shades of the colors we’ve mentioned above – most notably, blue and yellow, as well as red.

So they can’t see brown, for example, and they might only be able to distinguish brown objects as they’ll see them as red, for instance.

On the flip side, they won’t be able to recognize colors like brown, orange, red, green, pink, and other colors.

Instead of viewing these colors, they will see them as hues of other colors they can see like yellow, green, or blue.

Part of the reason for this is that they have several adaptations to their eyesight that enable them to see in the dark. With tapetum lucidum, for instance, they’re able to see in the dark, but it can compromise their ability to see colors more clearly.

Are Wolves Color Blind?

No, wolves are not color blind as they can see some colors, just not in as much detail as we can.

Wolves definitely cannot see the same colors as we do, and their perception of colors is limited to only a few colors like yellow and blue. Their eyesight is somewhat similar to dogs, which can also see some specific colors.

They have only two cones in their eyes as compared to our eyes which have three cones. This means they’re not able to distinguish colors as clearly as we can. But they’re still not color blind, because they can recognize some colors that we can see.

They’re not as clearly color blind as some other animals in the wild at least. For example, whales and seals don’t have cones in their eyes, which means they’re completely color blind.

On the flip side, other animals that can see colors exceptionally include spiders and other insects, as well as some crustaceans and squids.

Wolves place somewhere in the middle of all the animals in terms of how well they can see colors around them. While their perception of colors is not the best, it’s also not the worst and it’s enough for their needs.

They’ll also use other senses to hunt, especially their sense of smell and hearing, which are among the best in the animal world.

Read Also: Do Wolves have Whiskers?


Despite the fact that wolves can only see a limited selection of colors, it doesn’t bother them or decreases their ability to survive more efficiently.

That’s mainly thanks to other senses they have developed which are much stronger as with other animals, like their sense of smell and hearing.

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