Press Releases

Dolphin Sense

Dolphin Can Sense Electric Field

Fleeing fish beware: The Guiana dolphin has a super Spidey sense. But instead of danger, the dolphin detects faint electrical fields generated by such things as contracting muscles, a beating heart and pumping gills — telltale signs of potential prey. The dolphin is the first true mammal with these super sensory powers, scientists report. (See more)
California Wild

California Wild - "Whiskers in the Dark"

Like regular hairs, vibrissae are really just stout pillars of dead skin cells. It’s the fancy accessories hidden below the surface of the skin that make vibrissae special. All vibrissae are sunk in a follicle sealed by a capsule of blood, known as a blood sinus. Just as the air inside a balloon will shift when the balloon is squeezed, when a vibrissa is touched it bends and pushes blood against the opposite side of the sinus... (See more)
Manatee Thumbnail

Science Now - The Hairy Senses of Manatees

The sluggish manatee, an endangered mammal that lives in tropical waters, may use its sparse body hairs much like a cat uses whiskers--to sense the surrounding environment. Researchers have found that the hairs are connected to many nerves, forming a sensory network, which could help Florida manatees navigate by detecting water pressure changes. That would make it the first mammal known to... (See more)