More Senses

A great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) emerges from the water's surface, gaping at the photographer. Gaping is a way sharks communicate with each other, and maybe even try and communicate...
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...
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...
This hyperiid is one of twenty-four species in the genus Vibilia , distinguished by the paddle-like antennae on the front of its head. Vibilia are small (only 5-20 millimeters long) and their eyes...
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...
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...
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 "...
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...
Great white sharks ( Carcharodon carcharias ) are marvels of evolution, with highly-evolved senses keeping them among the ocean’s top predators. However, they are threatened with extinction and...
This female hyperiid ( Phronima sedentaria ) is surrounded by her young, residing in the hollowed out barrel-shaped body cavity of a salp. It is thought that the mother Phronima captures and kills...
The Pacific hagfish ( Eptatretus stoutii ), a fish that looks similar to an eel, has no jaw and is totally blind. They find food, often dead fish, through a specialized sense of smell and, because...
This much smaller hyperiid (in the genus Paraphromina ) has eyes that make up 45 percent of its body! Its many retinas, which researchers believe are used to maximize light detection, are the small...
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...
Like other catsharks, the small-spotted catshark ( Scyliorhinus canicula ) is named for the elongated, cat-like shape of its eyes. But all sharks have cat-like eyes—in a different way. Like cats,...
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...
This new species of lobster is blind—an adaptation to deep-sea life —and has very bizarre claws, or chelipeds. It was discovered about 300 meters (984 feet) deep in the Philippine Sea by a Census of...
The distinctive form of a winghead shark ( Eusphyra blochii ) is revealed by an X-ray image. The Winghead Shark, one of about ten species of hammerhead sharks, has its eyes set at the tips of its...
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...
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