Whiskers

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Anecdotally, it is often stated that cats use their whiskers to gauge whether an opening is wide enough for their body to pass through. However, reports of cats, particularly kittens, with their heads firmly stuck in some discarded receptacle are commonplace [33] indicating that if a cat has this information available, it doesn't always make best use of it. Pinnipeds have well-developed tactile senses.

Sight in the Dark

Their mystacial vibrissae have ten times the innervation of terrestrial mammals, allowing them to effectively detect vibrations in the water. Detecting vibrations is useful when the animals are foraging and may add to or even replace vision, particularly in darkness. Harbor seals have been observed following varying paths of other organisms that swam ahead several minutes before, similar to a dog following a scent trail, [24] [36] and even to discriminate the species and the size of the fish responsible for the trail.

The vibrissa's angle relative to the flow, and not the fiber shape, however, seems to be the most important factor. A large part of the brain of whisker-specialist mammals is involved in the processing of nerve impulses from vibrissae, a fact that presumably corresponds to the important position the sense occupies for the animal. Information from the vibrissae arrives in the brain via the trigeminal nerve and is delivered first into the trigeminal sensory complex of brainstem.


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From there, the most studied pathways are those leading up through parts of thalamus and into barrel cortex , [41] though other major pathways through the superior colliculus in midbrain a major visual structure in visual animals and the cerebellum , to name but a couple, are increasingly coming under scrutiny. The presence of mystacial vibrissae in distinct lineages Rodentia , Afrotheria , marsupials with remarkable conservation of operation suggests that they may be an old feature present in a common ancestor of all therian mammals.

Thus, it is possible that the development of the whisker sensory system played an important role in mammalian development, more generally. Researchers have begun to build artificial whiskers of a variety of types, both to help them understand how biological whiskers work and as a tactile sense for robots. These efforts range from the abstract, [45] through feature-specific models, [46] [47] to attempts to reproduce complete whiskered animals in robot form ScratchBot [48] and ShrewBot, [49] [50] [51] both robots by Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

Whisker | Definition of Whisker by Merriam-Webster

A range of non-mammalian animals possess structures which resemble or function similarly to mammalian whiskers. Some birds possess specialized hair-like feathers called rictal bristles around the base of the beak which are sometimes referred to as whiskers. The whiskered auklet Aethia pygmaea has striking, stiff white feathers protruding from above and below the eyes of the otherwise slate-grey bird, and a dark plume which swoops forward from the top of its head.

Whiskered auklets sent through a maze of tunnels with their feathers taped back bumped their heads more than twice as often as they did when their feathers were free, indicating they use their feathers in a similar way to cats. Other birds that have obvious "whiskers" are kiwis , flycatchers , swallows , nightjars , whip-poor-wills , the kakapo and the long-whiskered owlet Xenoglaux loweryi.

Some fish have slender, pendulous tactile organs near the mouth. These are often referred to as "whiskers", although they are more correctly termed barbels.

What's the Deal With... Whiskers?

Fish that have barbels include the catfish, carp, goatfish, hagfish, sturgeon, zebrafish and some species of shark. The Pimelodidae are a family of catfishes order Siluriformes commonly known as the long-whiskered catfishes. Anurognathid pterosaurs have a rugose wrinkled jaw texture that has been interpreted as the attachment sites for vibrissae, [53] though actual vibrissae have not been recorded.

Macrovibrissae of a Hooded Lister laboratory rat. Micrograph cross section of an equine vibrissa.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Whisker disambiguation. Main article: Whisking in animals. An otter with facial whiskers. Macrovibrissae of a tiger. Supraorbital vibrissae and mystacial macrovibrissae of a house cat. Retrieved October 29, Folia Primatol.

The Free Dictionary's Medical dictionary. Farlex, Inc. April 14, How far do I need to jump to reach that counter? It picks up vibrations in the environment that help the cat sense where she is and what other creatures are around her. Most whiskers are rooted in the thick pads on the upper lip, but smaller sets are in the eyebrow area, along the chin, and near the feet. When a cat is relaxed, her whiskers will remain still, sticking straight out from the side of her head.

And did you know tigers even have whiskers on their legs?

ctgroupect.com/los-ltimos-novela-policaca.php As you can see, whiskers make life easier for tigers. They help them hunt, find their way in the dark and sense when danger or a tasty snack is nearby. Over time, the tigers that had whiskers were more likely to live long enough to have babies who also had whiskers. So the number of whiskery tigers grew and grew while the tigers with shorter or no whiskers may not have lived long enough to have babies, and their numbers fell.


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