Color vision in the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)

  • Griebel U
  • Schmid A
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Abstract

Three California sea lions were trained to discriminate between a colored stimulus and two shades of gray in a 3-fold simultaneous choice situation. The colors blue, green and red were tested against shades of gray varying from low to high relative brightness. All animals distinguished blue from gray; two animals also distinguished green from gray; but none discriminated between red and gray. Our data suggest that California sea lions have dichromatic color vision. Their ability to discriminate colors in the blue-green part of the spectrum could be a physiological adaptation to their aquatic coastal habitat. © 1992.

Author-supplied keywords

  • California sea lion
  • Color discrimination
  • Color vision
  • Otariinae
  • Zalophus californianus

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Authors

  • Ulrike Griebel

  • Axel Schmid

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