Today the mechanisms of human colour vision are well understood because of the detailed communication feedback possible in experimental studies. The situation with other species in the animal kingdom is less easy to investigate and understand. In the present review, examples of the colour and colour vision of various animal species are described, selected mainly because they are particularly interesting and indeed colourful. The chemical structures and the relationships of the natural pigments involved also receive attention. Despite many decades of vision research, many aspects of colour vision remain unclear. Nevertheless increasing knowledge in all these fields may someday help to elucidate the neurological pathways underlying other animals’ colour vision to the same extent as is at present known for human vision.