Do animals eyes reflect light after they're dead? Specifically a cats?

Above: Image © Vladimir Menkov, Wikimedia Commons

Question

Do animals eyes reflect light after they're dead? Specifically a cats?

Answer

This is a very interesting question, and I will admit that I do not completely know the answer to the question either. However, to find out some really good information about why animals eyes reflect in the dark (when they are living), I would suggest a very well written article in CurioCity called "Why is it that light reflects off of animal eyes at night, but not humans?" So as the article states, it is the reflective tissue (membrane) found behind the retina of an animal's eye called "tapetum lucidum" which reflects light (which is not absorbed), to create an eerie glow or shine of the eyes of the animal in darkness (especially for cats). So I would presume that even after the animal dies, if the tapetum lucidum is intact and functioning then the eyes of the animal should still be able to reflect light in the dark. However if the tapetum lucidum is damaged or deteriorated after death (probably a longer time after death), then I would presume that the animal will no longer will able to reflect light in their retina in the dark.

Answered By: Harman Sawhney

CurioCity

This is content has that been provided for use on the CurioCity website.


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