Seals Use Their Whiskers to Judge Size

How big is that thing? Seals let their whiskers do the calculatin'.

Robyn Grant of University of Rostock in Germany wanted to know how seals can judge the size of an object using their whiskers, but first she had to figure out how to put eyemasks and headphones on seals to restrict their other senses:

[Grant] explained that these whiskers acted as a "higher-resolution sampling space", meaning that the seals could gather lots of information from one spot without moving all of their whiskers.

"They can press [their muzzle] on [the object] and by the number of whiskers it contacts, they can work out whether it's a bigger or smaller thing."

This brushing technique allows the seals to gauge their prey in water where visibility is often poor.

Ella Davies of BBC Nature has the post: Link

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