Sentient: How Animals Illuminate the Wonder of Our Human Senses
How do our senses perceive the world and how are they designed to help creatures survive? These are the themes that British science writer Jackie Higgins explores in this fascinating glimpse into the numerous revelatory findings on this subject.
Starting with the Peacock Mantis Shrimp and its extraordinary color vision, which allows it to see hues invisible to humans, the story examines man’s color perception from the colorblind to those able to discriminate colors found within the white and grey range. Look at the ear and compete with the Great Gray Owl in pursuing sound for its meal, or contend with Richard Feynman or the canid Bloodhound in detecting a particular odor.
Consider Helen Keller and her adaptations to overcome the absence of sight and sound. Taste buds are not only found on the tongue, as they are located superficially on the body of the Goliath Catfish, which enhances its hunting capabilities. And we all have different tastes, depending on the number and location of taste buds in the oral cavity.
Filled with fascinating facts and intriguing questions, this exposure of the variability of the structure and function of the senses molds our perceptions and evokes curiosity about the sentient potential of all living things.
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