Can Snakes See In The Dark?

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Snakes have very poor vision overall and their eyes are not well-suited for seeing in the dark.

The vast majority of snakes are not nocturnal and their eyes are not adapted for seeing in the dark.

In fact most snakes are active during the day and are inactive at night.

The vast majority of snakes are not nocturnal and their eyes are not adapted for seeing in the dark.

In fact most snakes are active during the day and are inactive at night.

There are a few exceptions however.

Some species of snakes such as the boa constrictor are nocturnal.

These snakes have eyes that are adapted for seeing in the dark.

They have large eyes with a reflective layer of tissue called the tapetum.

This layer reflects light back through the retina which increases the amount of light that the snake can see.

In addition nocturnal snakes have more rods than cones in their retina.

Rods are sensitive to light but do not provide color vision.

Cones provide color vision but are not as sensitive to light.

This combination of adaptations allows nocturnal snakes to see in the dark.

Even with these adaptations however snakes have poor vision overall.

They cannot see objects that are far away and they have trouble distinguishing between colors.

In addition snakes cannot move their eyes from side to side.

This means that they have to turn their entire head in order to change their gaze.

For these reasons snakes rely heavily on other senses such as smell and touch to navigate their environment.