Wonderful whiskered wildlife

Harbor seal -
The technical name for whiskers is vibrissae. They are modified hairs that are used by mammals to sense their environment.

Iberian lynx -
These hairs are finely specialized for this purpose, and almost all mammals except humans have them. In fact, mammal species without whiskers are actually a minority.

Chimpanzee -
All other primates, including monkeys, have whiskers. Our closest living relative, the chimp, features vibrissae on its lower chin.

Manatee -
Other mammals, the manatee for example, have them all over the head and body. In most mammal species, however, they form an ordered pattern.

Brown rat -
Rodents are particularly noticeable for their whiskers. Rat vibrissae form a grid-wise layout on either side of the snout that taper to an extremely narrow tip.

Eurasian otter -
The whiskers of many carnivores, particularly aquatic and nocturnal species like the Eurasian otter, are also very prominent.

Siberian tiger -
Whiskers aid navigation, locomotion, exploration, hunting, and social touch. But how do they work, exactly?

Red fox -
These nerves relay detailed information about the direction, velocity, and duration of the vibrissal movement.

Lion -
This sensory intelligence allows the animal to detect the precise location, size, texture, and other details of an object.

Red squirrel -
Vibrissae typically grow in clusters. These groups vary somewhat in form and function, but they are relatively consistent among land mammals.

Racoon -
Many land mammals have four typical whisker groups on their heads, collections known as cranial vibrissae.

European rabbit -
These cranial groups include: above the eyes (supraorbital); on the cheeks (genal); where a moustache would be (mystacial); and under the snout (mandibular).

Red panda -
Many terrestrial mammals can also detect air currents with their whiskers, which may warn them of approaching danger.

Mandrill -
The mandrill is a handsome Old World monkey whose lips are surrounded by stiff white whiskers.

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