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Whiskers are cool
rat
saxifrage00
Not beards or mustaches, but the vibrissæ of animals. Whiskers serve for nocturnal and marine mammals what eyes do for us. Walruses can tell shapes apart with their whiskers, discriminating between shapes down to the size of a pinkie fingernail. The same article notes how whiskers on the legs and feet of squirrels help them land those death-defying jumps between trees, and how seals can detect the wake of goldfish minutes after it has passed.

Whiskers are damned cool. They're not just touch sensors on overdrive, they actually give an animal a whole new sensory modality. Imagine being able to "see" with your fingers and get images of your environment from that with nearly the same acuity as sight. In the case of these animals, it's better than sight.

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Makes you wonder why humans haven't evolved out some whiskers of their own. Our facial hair seems to be mostly limited to decorative purposes.

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