Photopigment basis for dichromatic color vision in cows, goats, and sheep

Vis Neurosci. May-Jun 1998;15(3):581-4. doi: 10.1017/s0952523898153154.


Electroretinogram (ERG) flicker photometry was used to measure the spectral properties of cones in three common ungulates-cattle (Bos taurus), goats (Capra hircus), and sheep (Ovis aries). Two cone mechanisms were identified in each species. The location of peak sensitivity of an S-cone mechanism varied from about 444 to 455 nm for the three species; analogous values for an M/L-cone were tightly clumped at about 552-555 nm. Each of these three species has the requisite photopigment basis for dichromatic color vision and they are, thus, similar to other ungulates examined earlier.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Electroretinography
  • Female
  • Goats / physiology*
  • Male
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Pigments / physiology*
  • Sheep / physiology*


  • Retinal Pigments