More Senses

Large whales are notoriously hard to study. Except when rising to breathe, they swim beneath the ocean's surface out of human sight, which makes it difficult to find and track them. They often live...
Animals, on land and in the ocean, live in a 3-D world, and they depend on their sense organs and brains to build the mental constructs that allow them to orient and navigate, which is crucial for...
Sharks have six highly refined senses: smell, hearing, touch, taste, sight, and electromagnetism. These finely honed senses, along with a sleek, torpedo-shaped body, make most sharks highly skilled...
Sharks are much older than dinosaurs. Their ancestry dates back more than 400 million years, and they are one of evolution’s greatest success stories. These animals are uniquely adapted to their...
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches in diameter, people often describe it as the size of a dinner plate -- or, in other words, as big as a human head. Here,...
A mantis shrimp ( Odontodactylus scyllarus ) holds her clutch of eggs in her clubbed claws. Usually these claws are weapons that punch hard-shelled prey at speeds of more than 50 miles an hour...
What does a bioluminescent creature that lives more than two miles below the surface of the ocean and a glow stick have in common? More than you think. In a unique spin on an art technique called "...
Hyperiid amphipods are small crustaceans related to sand fleas and distantly related to shrimp. They range in size from very tiny to more than 7 inches long, and are found at all depths of the ocean...
Dr. Stefan Huggenberger from the University of Cologne explains sound production in sperm whales in "Moby Dick's Boom Box: Nasal Complex of Sperm Whales," a presentation at the Smithsonian's National...
The yellow features in this 3-D reconstruction of a fin whale fetal skull represent the early developmental stages of ear bones, characteristics that are extremely rare, fragile and nearly impossible...
The blue-spotted stingray ( Taeniura lymma ) doesn’t like to be covered in sand like other species of stingray do. Instead, it prefers to show off its beautiful blue spots and, to stay up to the best...
The goblin shark ( Mitsukurina owstoni ) is one of the creepier fish out there! It has a long, prominent snout covered with special sensing organs (ampullae of Lorenzini) that help it to sense...
This is another view of Phromina from the side. The eyes take up most of the head, with one pair looking to the side (the red spot) and one pair facing upwards. Phronima live anywhere from 200-1100...
Polarized sunglasses have become the norm for humans when they want to filter out the strong glare from the sunlight bouncing off of water in a horizontal direction. But how do animals do that live...
Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of orcas (commonly called killer whales) and how they react to sonar and other noisy human activities. The partnership is...
These Themisto hyperiids live in the top 200 meters of cold waters around the world. Each of their two large eyes has an upward-looking zone and a downward-looking zone. Each zone can see at...
This hyperiid (in the genus Cystisoma) has only one pair of eyes—but they are very big. You can see them here as the entire surface of its head and the convex orange sheet of retinal cells in the...
Hear how research unfolds at sea in a tiny Zodiac surrounded by creatures that measure longer than a city bus. Playing female whale calls into the water, researcher Susan Parks suddenly finds herself...
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