Lions have truly remarkable night vision, to the extent that they not only hunt at night, but actually prefer to do so when there is no moon in the sky, because the lack of moonlight makes them nearly invisible to their prey, but they can still see by air glow and starlight.

But even lions cannot see in total darkness. What happens on a moonless night when the sky is covered in cloud? Can lions still hunt, or does that make it too dark for even them to see?

  • Humans can see pretty well on moonless nights too…
    – Jon Custer
    May 6, 2021 at 1:41
  • @JonCuster That doesn't match what I've heard from other sources. (Cannot confirm or deny from personal experience, since I live in a city.) But e.g. a documentary about the lions of Tsavo, said they were hard to kill on moonless nights because they could see but the humans could not; one of them only got shot when he made the mistake of coming back on a moonlit night when humans could see him.
    – rwallace
    May 6, 2021 at 3:38
  • 2
    in my personal experience, a new moon in standard pinon/juniper forest in New Mexico is, indeed, dark. Out in the open you can see pretty well with just the stars. Maybe not 'hunting' quality sight, but move around easily sight. And my eyesight isn't terribly good to begin with. The trick is to not use any light sources at all and let your eyes do their thing.
    – Jon Custer
    May 6, 2021 at 13:37
  • Off topic. - "The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange - For people who love being outdoors enjoying nature and wilderness, and learning about the required skills and equipment. "
    – user20551
    May 11, 2021 at 2:11


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.