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Photopigments of dogs and foxes and their implications for canid vision

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 June 2009

Gerald H. Jacobs
Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Jess F. Deegan II
Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Michael A. Crognale
Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara
John A. Fenwick
Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara


Electroretinogram (ERG) flicker photometry was used to examine the photopigment complements of representatives of four genera of Canid: domestic dog (Canis familiaris), Island gray fox (Urocyon littoralis), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus). These four genera share a common cone pigment complement; each has one cone pigment with peak sensitivity of about 555 nm and a second cone pigment with peak at 430–435 nm. These pigment measurements accord well with the conclusions of an earlier investigation of color vision in the dog, and this fact allows some predictions about color vision in the wild canids. An additional set of measurements place the peak of the dog rod pigment at about 508 nm.

Research Articles
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1993

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