Review of Color Vision in White-Tailed Deer (VerCauteren)

Review of color vision in White-Tailed Deer (VerCauteren)

VerCauteren, Kurt J. and Pipas, Michael J., " A review of color vision in white-tailed deer" (2003). USDA National Wildlife Research Center - Staff Publications. Paper 284.

This is a comprehensive overview of the published studies of color vision in white-tailed deer. Published in December of 2003 it includes the owwos of those who preceeded Bradley Cohen's team. This review by Kurt C VerCauteren and Michael J Pipas, both with the USDA in Fort Collins, CO enables you to trace the progress of over 60 years of work.

Cone and rod structures were identified in the deer retina in the 50's. By the 70's, pigments were isolated that could be shown to respond to colors of light. In August of 1993 Jerry Jacobs and Jay Neitz mearured the reponce of living deer eyes to different wavelengths of light. This enabled them to accuratley predict the spectral sensitivity of the deer.

All that remained was to design a behavioral experiment that could control for all other factors to prove that deer could see colors and ultraviolet by how they responded to different lights. Birgersson and others identified and resolved many of the issues that complicated this behavioral work. Then in February of 2012 at the 35th Annual South East Deer Study Group meeting Bradley Cohen's work at the University of Georgia was publicized for the first time and it was published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin in May 2014. 

Bradley Cohen's study available for purchase at

VerCauteren and Pipas review: