Photographie en gros plan d'un œil de loup.

The Eyes of the Wolf

What an exhilarating feeling to watch this animal gifted in communication, especially to have had the chance to meet its gaze, and what a gaze!

This mysterious and intense look puts you in your place instantly, two small oblique sparkles that pierce you and seem to communicate with you.


The frontal vision of the wolf is limited but perfectly adapted to spotting dangers over long distances and carrying out various stages of hunting, particularly in the dark.

Indeed, the wolf’s field of vision reaches 250°, and its orbits are oriented in a way that allows both binocular and peripheral vision, a great advantage for hunting in open and closed environments. The wolf is likely nearsighted due to the absence of a central fovea, a small depression located centrally behind the retina. Beyond a distance of 30-45 meters, its vision would be blurred. However, the wolf can distinguish shapes and, above all, movements. Its binocular vision is less efficient than that of humans, for example, but its peripheral vision is extremely precise.

The wolf has obliquely slitted eyes, not very wide, with well-rounded pupils, and the color of its irises is most often yellow-brown, sometimes green or dark brown, always blue at birth. Its eyes have a large proportion of rods and a tapetum lucidum, a layer of cells located behind the retina and capable of reflecting low light. The wolf sees well in all lighting conditions but especially at twilight and dawn.

On the retina’s horizon, the wolf has a visual band with a higher concentration of photoreceptors, giving it great visual acuity: it can see multiple objects simultaneously without focusing its gaze on a particular object. Thus, during the attack of prey, it can maintain visual contact both with its hunting partners and with the prey.

The wolf has dichromatic vision, allowing it to detect colors in the blue range but not clearly distinguishing colors in the spectrum ranging from green to red. However, during its main periods of activity (dawn and twilight), its vision is probably limited to black and white.

Artificial intelligence translation of an original text by Sandrine Devienne.
Click here to read the French version

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