Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Dichromacy in the Ground Squirrel


IN studying vision it has often proved informative to use situations in which less than the total visual system is operative. One way of achieving this for colour vision is by examining systems in which cones are the sole visual receptors. This is so rare in humans as to be effectively unavailable, but several other animals normally possess pure-cone retinas, and of these the ground squirrels have been of particular interest. Recent investigations1 have indicated that at least some ground squirrels possess colour vision which is likely to be dichromatic. We have made measurements on two common species of ground squirrels that confirm these suggestions.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Crescitelli, F., and Pollack, J. D., Science, 150, 1316 (1965); Michael, C. R., J. Neurophysiol., 31, 268 (1968).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Graham, C. H., Vision and Visual Perception, 396 (Wiley, New York, 1965).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Dowling, J. E., abstracts of papers on Symp. Physiol. Basis for Form Discrimination, at Brown University, Providence, 17 (1964).

  4. Michael, C. R., J. Neurophysiol., 31, 268 (1968).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Rushton, W. A. H., J. Physiol., 168, 345 (1963).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Pitt, F. H. G., Med. Res. Council Spec. Rep. Series, 200, 1 (1935); Hecht, S., and Shlaer, S., J. Gen. Physiol., 20, 57 (1936); Walls, G. L., and Heath, G. G., J. Opt. Soc. Amer., 42, 640 (1956).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Michael, C. R., thesis, Harvard Univ. (1965).

  8. Judd, D. B., J. Res. Nat. Bureau Standards, 33, 407 (1944).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Polson, M. C., thesis, Indiana Univ. (1968).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

JACOBS, G., YOLTON, R. Dichromacy in the Ground Squirrel. Nature 223, 414–415 (1969).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing