Can Mice See in the Dark? The vision of the Little Rodents

Whenever we look around the corner of the house or road, we may sometimes see a mouse running away. Can mice see properly in the dark?

A mouse has low vision power to see the surroundings and walk. In fact, they are almost blind. But with their whiskers and smell power, they create a map in their head and that is how they run.

Can Mice See In the Dark

In this article, you will learn how well a mouse can see, how they walk while using whiskers and smelling instinct, and many more.

How Well Can Mice See?

Mice have a hard time seeing in any lighting. The vision of the mice is really poor compared to other mammals and humans. If we compare their eyes with people, you may call them blind.

How Well Can Mice See

But there is a catch. Mice have some adaptations that help them to survive in the dark. A study about light and the laboratory mouse states that a mouse’s eyes may be geared up to detect motion in dim light. 

So, they can have the edge over potential night-time predators. But normally, their vision is very poor. 

Then how do they walk so fast and not trip over something? This is when the whiskers sound comes inside mice. 

Can Mice See in the Dark

And you will not believe it, like mice, hamsters see the world in the same way. They also have the same vision as mice.

Mouse Using Whiskers

Whenever a mouse tries to walk or run from one place to another, they try to create whiskers to figure out its surroundings.

 Mouse Using Whiskers to Sense Everything

The whiskers of the mouse work like an antenna. They are like sensors that sense the surroundings. 

And the surprising part is that they have around two dozen whiskers around their face. How does this process work?

When the whiskers touch their surroundings, they send signals back to the mouse’s brain. The mouse then tries to use these signals and organize a virtual map where they have the surroundings. 

From that map, they can figure out the routes, and then they run through that route. This means that the mouse can not actually see anything rather than the sensing power and odor. 

Mouse Using Whiskers

Unlike other rodent animals, mice have good memories that help them to remember a certain thing and concentrate on working on that.

Sometimes, because of using whiskers, they may go through some stinky places and gain a bad odor. Your pet mice may smell so bad sometimes too because of this reason.

Mouse Smelling Scent or Odor

As mice do not have the potential to see using their eyes, the second thing that they use to run around is the smell.
Mice have a pretty strong sense of odor and smell. While they walk around, they try to sniff around to find ways or return.

Mouse Smelling Scent to See The Path

Not only mice but also rats constantly sniff as they move around their environment, using their excellent sense of smell to find foods, and mates while avoiding predators. They may not sleep properly because of their smelling instinct sometimes.

Scientists Providing Mice Infrared Vision

No one can see to the furthest. Every living thing has a limit to seeing things(including humans). This limit is known as visible light.

Now, scientists are using infrared rays that help to create visible images to see in the dark. With the help of injecting nanoparticles into the eyes of the mouse, they gave them the vision to see in the dark.

Now, how does the nanoparticle work inside the mice’s eye?

Scientists Providing Mice Infrared Vision

After injecting the nanoparticles, the mice’s eyes can detect light. The nanoparticles can capture infrared wavelengths. At the same time, they emit shorter wavelengths. When the shorter wavelengths fall within the visible light range, mice can produce visible images.

This can be compared to our night vision goggles.


Do Mice Have Good Night Vision?

Yes, mice can see well in dim light rather than too much lighting or no light area. Normally, the vision of the mice is relatively poor. But normally, in dim light, they can detect anything easily.

Do Mice Prefer the Dark?

As nocturnal creatures, mice are most active between dusk and dawn time. Normally, the bright lights are not too likable for them. But in rare cases, they may go out in a lighting place.

This may happen because the mice are looking for food somewhere. 

Final Words

It can be hard to understand that “Can mice see in the dark?” Normally mice can see in dim light. But when it is dark, they use their senses. 

But if the technology of infrared vision works properly for the mice, then they can see anything at any moment. This will be a win-win situation for the little rodents.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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