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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. 02 Oct '07 17:30 / 1 edit
    Cats have great night vision and also good senses of smell and hearing. They are expert night hunters. Put a cat and a mouse in a room. Which is more to the cat's advantage: a well-lit room or a dimly lit room? Does the cat lose its darkness advantages when the room is lit, or does the lit room simply give away the mouse's position, making it an easier kill for the cat, even though it sacrifices its advantages?

    Edit: Specifically, you can (but don't have to) approach this question like this: (1) Do the lights give the cat a higher or lower probability of kill (assuming the mouse has some chance to get away)? (2) Do the lights increase or decrease the time it takes for the cat to capture or kill the mouse?

    (This is more of an animal behavior question, but it does involve analytical thinking and is sort of a puzzle. I didn't want to put it in the nutty General forum, hoping to get thoughtful answers here. I don't have the answer.)
  2. 02 Oct '07 18:22
    Originally posted by HolyT
    Cats have great night vision and also good senses of smell and hearing. They are expert night hunters. Put a cat and a mouse in a room. Which is more to the cat's advantage: a well-lit room or a dimly lit room? Does the cat lose its darkness advantages when the room is lit, or does the lit room simply give away the mouse's position, making it an easier kil ...[text shortened]... the nutty General forum, hoping to get thoughtful answers here. I don't have the answer.)
    A well lit room or a cave black room? Don't know...

    But what happens if you fire away a bright flash (like a photo blitz) now and then? This blinds the one that have the best dark vision and gives an advantage that doesn't have any good night vision. I don't know... Tell me?
  3. Subscriber Flying Dwarf
    Hunter of Texas Pete
    02 Oct '07 18:26
    Lets put a big ass dog in there as well.....now its interesting!
  4. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    02 Oct '07 19:42
    Plus a lion with a thorn in its foot.
  5. 03 Oct '07 00:35
    Another way to look at it (real life example): You find that your cat is tracking a mouse in a dark room in your house at night. Are you helping or hindering your cat by turning on the lights in the room?
  6. Standard member ark13
    Enola Straight
    03 Oct '07 01:47
    Originally posted by HolyT
    Another way to look at it (real life example): You find that your cat is tracking a mouse in a dark room in your house at night. Are you helping or hindering your cat by turning on the lights in the room?
    I think there's too many variables to be considered simply by reasoning.
  7. 03 Oct '07 03:29
    Is the room cubical?
  8. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Oct '07 04:36
    Originally posted by Doctor Rat
    Is the room cubical?
    Its a tessaract.
  9. Subscriber coquette
    Already mated
    03 Oct '07 05:19
    It requires an empirical study. However, I can say with certainty that I've only seen cats in our house catch a mouse when it's been pretty light and not dark.
  10. Standard member Mitsurugi
    Not the dead
    03 Oct '07 10:22
    Cats eyes have a reflecting layer that reflects extra light into their eyes. Extra light means that if there is no light source - or the room is completely in the dark - the cat is as blind as a human being would be on that situation. Hence, hunting in those conditions would be difficult for the cat.

    If the room is badly lit though, the cat definitely has the sight advantage. Saying for sure if the cat would take less/more time catching the mouse in those conditions is out of my league :p
  11. 03 Oct '07 10:58
    Originally posted by HolyT
    Cats have great night vision and also good senses of smell and hearing. They are expert night hunters. Put a cat and a mouse in a room. Which is more to the cat's advantage: a well-lit room or a dimly lit room? Does the cat lose its darkness advantages when the room is lit, or does the lit room simply give away the mouse's position, making it an easier kil ...[text shortened]... the nutty General forum, hoping to get thoughtful answers here. I don't have the answer.)
    I'd say in the dark, cause rats don't have night vision like cats (i guess). Either way it would be rat soup in no time at all.
  12. 03 Oct '07 21:51
    It doesn't matter too much to the hypothetical but we can say that it's an "ordinary" room with various obstacles such as furniture and personal possessions strewn about, possibly with a closet and escape options (vents, space under doors, etc.).

    My first thought was that I'd be helping the cat by turning the light on, as it would clearly give away the mouse's position. But after reading some on line about cats' senses, I think I've changed my mind. Cats have a massive night vision advantage over rodents (and humans). Bright light actually changes their perception of targets, in a bad way. And their other awesome senses (hearing, good smell sense, detecting air current and pressure changes with whiskers, etc.) are not dependent on light. So I'd guess that the light would level the playing field somewhat for the prey.
  13. Standard member Ramned
    The Rams
    03 Oct '07 23:01
    Originally posted by HolyT
    Another way to look at it (real life example): You find that your cat is tracking a mouse in a dark room in your house at night. Are you helping or hindering your cat by turning on the lights in the room?
    I would think turning the lights on might temporairly blind the cat, thus hindering it.