More Senses

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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
Hoping to hear bowhead whales , NOAA marine mammal scientist Sue Moore listens to real-time sounds from an underwater hydrophone.
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...
John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the FLIP platform. Learn more about how scientists are using bioacoustics to study and protect whales .
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...
This hyperiid is one of seventeen species in the genus Lanceola , which are found between 200 and 7,000 meters below the ocean’s surface. Some species, like this one, are found exclusively below 3,...
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 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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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