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  • Writer's pictureCristian Duque

Expanding the five senses

Have you heard about the typical five senses - smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch? Let's explore additional human senses presented by scientific resources and some strange senses possessed by animals that are beyond our perception.

Let's begin with dolphins, one of the most intelligent animals in the world. They use sonar pulses to receive information about distant objects underwater. Dolphins compare sound frequencies to discriminate between shapes, materials, and sizes. They can hunt in turbid waters and avoid obstacles in the dark using echolocation, also employed by bats.

Scientists have discussed adding new senses to the human list of 5 senses. One such sense is proprioception, which is the awareness of our body, including the muscles' location and movements, without looking at them. It helps determine our position in space and is essential for movement coordination.

Certain snake species have developed a heat sense perception. Pit vipers and some boas and pythons possess heat-sensitive pits that sense the infrared radiation produced by warm-blooded animals. Snakes use this heat-sensing mechanism for various functions, including hunting strategies, thermoregulation, and defence mechanisms. They gain a significant advantage in locating and capturing their prey by perceiving the thermal radiation emitted by them.

By perceiving thermal radiation emitted by their prey, these cold-blooded predators gain a significant advantage in locating and capturing their meals. The ability to detect heat also enables them to gauge ambient temperatures accurately, ensuring optimal conditions for survival and reproduction. Why Snakes Use Heat Sensing - Pest Keen

The "seventh" human sense is equilibrioception, which perceives balance according to gravity and provides the orientation perception. It helps in maintaining stability and spatial movement awareness.

Clonal raider ants are completely blind and live underground. They communicate through the sense of smell or chemical compounds in case of danger or alarm situations.

Whether foraging or defending the nest, mating or tending to their young, ants send and receive chemical signals throughout their lives.

Naked-mole rats, a unique species of rodents that inhabit dry underground areas, possess a low sensitivity to the pain caused by acids and capsaicin, the chemical compound responsible for the savoury and spicy taste in chillies. This is an unusual feature for mammals that significantly reduces their ability to feel pain.

Ongoing research is being conducted to understand this trait better. Additionally, naked mole rats have a low metabolism and can survive up to 18 minutes without oxygen without showing signs of harm.

Sea turtles have an innate ability to orient themselves using the Earth's magnetic field as a compass. They can travel thousands of kilometres and return to their birthplace by memorizing an oceanic map by recognizing the geomagnetic field.

The Megalopta Genalis, a sweat bee, possesses an incredible night vision that enables them to forage in the dark and find its nests on nights, even when humans cannot see their own hands in front of their faces.

In conclusion, senses are not limited to the five known senses we have learned from the past. Many species, including our own, possess unique insights that cannot be thoroughly analyzed from the perspective of other species.


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