Join FunTrivia for Free: Hourly trivia games, quizzes, community, and more!
Fun Trivia
Ask FunTrivia: Questions and Answers
Answers to 100,000 Fascinating Questions
Welcome to FunTrivia's Question & Answer forum!

Search All Questions

Please cite any factual claims with citation links or references from authoritative sources. Editors continuously recheck submissions and claims.

Archived Questions

Goto Qn #

Are bulls color blind?

Question #2308. Asked by mamabyrd.

Answer has 12 votes
24 year member
153 replies

Answer has 12 votes.
Yes, bulls are color blind.

Since the seventeenth century fighting bulls have been bred on special ranches. The animals go through several selection processes during their first three years, in which only those with the best stamina, courage, physical appearance, and coloration are selected for eventual corrida combat. Bulls never receive realistic training in preparation for combat. This is because they must, for symbolic reasons, be virginal regarding actual fighting experience. Also, because of their excellent memory, experienced bulls would be apt to develop tricky tactics rather than react sheerly on the basis of raw courage and instinct as is expected. Like all other cattle, fighting bulls are color blind, and their interest in the red cape used to attract them is only because of its movement.

May 06 2000, 10:06 PM
Answer has 13 votes
Currently Best Answer

Answer has 13 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
A common misconception about cattle (particularly bulls) is that they are enraged by the color red (something provocative is often said to be "like a red rag to a bull"). This is incorrect, as cattle are red-green colour-blind.

The myth arose from the use of red capes in the sport of bullfighting; in fact, two different capes are used. The capote is a large, flowing cape that is magenta and yellow. The more famous muleta is the smaller, red cape, used exclusively for the final, fatal segment of the fight. It is not the color of the cape that angers the bull, but rather the movement of the fabric that irritates the bull and incites it to charge.

Although cattle cannot distinguish red from green, they do have two kinds of colour receptors in their retinas (cone cells) and so are theoretically able to distinguish some colours, probably in a similar way to other red-green colour-blind or dichromatic mammals (such as dogs, cats, horses and up to ten percent of male humans).


[Added reference link - McG]

Dec 15 2006, 4:16 PM
zbeckabee star
Answer has 7 votes
zbeckabee star
18 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 7 votes.
Bulls are color-blind. They charge the red cape because it is moving, not because it is red.


Feb 04 2008, 10:23 PM
free email trivia FREE! Get a new mixed Fun Trivia quiz each day in your email. It's a fun way to start your day!

arrow Your Email Address:

Sign in or Create Free User ID to participate in the discussion