The walrus's whiskers and the mouse's moustache: why do animals have whiskers?
Join us online with Dr Robyn Grant from the Manchester Metropolitan University as she discusses mammalian whiskers!
Nearly all mammals have whiskers – sensory tactile hairs, also known as vibrissae. In fact, whiskers are only truly absent in a handful of species, including humans. However, much of what we know about whiskers comes from studying just a few species, such as laboratory rats and mice. In this presentation, I will present a snapshot of what is known about how different species use their whiskers, drawing information from studies of whisker anatomy, development, evolution, and function. In particular, I will answer the following questions: how do whiskers work, develop, and evolve? And what are they for? I will also consider the applications of whisker research for mammalian behaviour, welfare, and conservation.