If you have a guinea pig, you may have caught yourself wondering what life looks like through their eyes. Their big marble-like eyes poke out of their head, so it seems like they’d be able to see everything! But do they see colors like humans, and can they see in the dark? How well do guinea pigs actually see?
Guinea pigs see 33 images per second, allowing them to react to danger and turn without blurred vision. They have lateral eyes, giving them a viewing field of 340 degrees. However, guinea pigs lack depth perception and can only see up to 3-5 feet away in clear detail.
Guinea pigs have both good and bad vision when compared to humans. Their marbly eyes give them many advantages, but how do they see the world? Keep reading to learn more about what life looks like through the lens of a guinea pig.
Do Guinea Pigs See Better Than Humans?
Guinea pigs have a wider range of vision than humans. They have a viewing field of 340 degrees, meaning they can see all around their body without turning their head. This gives them a survival edge in the wild as they can see almost everything in their surroundings except for what is directly behind them and under their nose.
Humans can only see up to 180 degrees, but we also have strong depth perception that guinea pigs lack. Guinea pigs have myopic eyes and can only see things within a couple of feet away, while humans can see at least 100 feet or more, depending on the individual’s eyes.
Guinea pigs see blurry images without the details that humans can see. However, they can also see more images per second than humans.
Guinea pigs see up to 33 images per second, allowing them to react to danger and turn their heads without blurry vision! Humans only see 22 images per second.
Although humans have superior vision when it comes to color and depth, guinea pigs also have excellent vision that helps them survive in the wild.
Guinea pigs can see in front of themselves but only up to 3-5 feet.
Guinea pigs are able to see everything around them except for two spots:
- Under their nose
- Directly behind them
This adaption was crucial before guinea pigs were domesticated. Their lateral eyes allow them to see around themselves and detect predators since guinea pigs are such easy prey.
Contrary to popular belief, guinea pigs do not see in black and white. All guinea pigs have dichromatic vision with two types of cones that allows them to see in color.
The cones and rods are sensitive to wavelengths from 429 nanometers to 529 nanometers.
This means that guinea pigs can see colors within these wavelengths, such as:
While they can see and distinguish these colors, they are most sensitive to green. They also see black and white.
Guinea pigs cannot see in the dark. Instead, they rely on their other senses to navigate through the darkness.
Guinea pigs have a heightened sense of smell and hearing, allowing them to identify where they are in the dark.
They have several adaptions that help them move around in the dark, such as:
- Strong sense of smell
- Spatial memory
With these adaptions, your guinea pig will have no problem moving around in the dark, even if they can’t see!
Even with their poor night vision, most guinea pigs enjoy hiding in dark places and will spend a lot of time there. So if you’re worried that your guinea pig needs a night light, you no longer need to worry. Your furry friend will be perfectly content if all the lights are off.
Although guinea pigs can see most of their surroundings, they can’t see far away or in the dark. Yet, guinea pigs have other adaptions that have allowed them to survive as long as they have in the wild and now as pets.
With poor eyesight, guinea pigs have learned to rely mainly on their sense of smell and hearing to familiarize themselves with their surroundings.
Plus, guinea pigs have a great memory and are able to remember their surroundings easily. This means that it’s important that you don’t move things around in their environment because if you do, they could easily get confused!
Guinea pigs can see their owner’s face, but not as clearly as you would think.
Since guinea pigs lack depth perception and contrast, human faces appear blurry and unclear. Yet, they can see the general outline of your face and body.
Yet this doesn’t mean that they don’t recognize you! Your piggy will rely on his sense of smell and hearing to determine who you are. They can even pick up subtle differences like your footsteps, general body size, and the way you move and speak.
Guinea pigs are generally well-adapted and not too bothered by their near-sighted vision, but there are some health problems related to the eyes that you should watch out for throughout your piggy’s life.
Guinea pigs are prone to various eye issues, such as:
- Pink eye
- Corneal ulcers
Each of these problems can cause significant damage to your guinea pig’s vision and even lead to blindness, so it’s important to monitor your guinea pig for early symptoms.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your guinea pig, be sure to take them to a vet as soon as possible.
- Cloudy film over the eyes
- White, green, or yellow discharge
- Large, noticeable blood vessels in the eye
- Bulging or protruding eyes
- Swollen eyes or bulges near the eye
While most of these eye problems can be taken care of easily at the veterinarian, it’s best to take action quickly so that your piggy can have a long, happy life with perfect guinea pig vision.
Guinea pigs have an incredible 340-degree view so that they can see almost everything around them! They also see images faster than humans so that they can react quickly to any threats. So if you’re spending time with your guinea pig, remember he can see you and feel your presence, no matter where you are!