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How do rodents carry out ‘whisk’ assessments? | Natural History Museum

How do rodents carry out ‘whisk’ assessments? | Natural History Museum


Our world is one of light and vision We will never experience the dark
as some mammals do, filled with detailed
sensory information But we are beginning to understand the role
of some key features, like whiskers Whiskers are particularly important
for small, nocturnal, arboreal mammals. They use them for foraging,
so finding and identifying food, and for getting themselves around
their complicated habitats. The dormouse
can move their whiskers in a process that’s called whisking, so backwards and forwards
cyclic movements, some of the fastest movements
that mammals can make. They can move their whiskers
because they’ve got special muscles. And these special muscles
are preserved from marsupials to even primates. So that makes us think
that the first mammals would have also had
movable whiskers as well.

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