Best earthquake detector – The catfish
Catfish are probably the most finely tuned creatures on earth. Unlike most fish, they don’t have scales and their smooth skin gives them a heightened sense of touch. In addition tiny hairs that run along the catfish’s side are very sensitive to vibrations. So much so, catfish are rumoured to be able to detect earthquakes days in advance.
Best fire detector – The jewel beetle
Using an infra-
Most sensitive nose – The star nosed mole
Deadly vibrations – The crocodile & alligator
These deadly predators have 1000’s of tiny receptors -
Best ‘touch at a distance’ – The sea cow (Manatee)
This odd looking sea animal has the ability to ‘touch at a distance’ which means it can feel objects from relatively far away. It can do this because its entire body is covered in tactile hairs whereas most mammals only have facial whiskers. Collectively these hairs enable the manatee to detect a change in current, water temperature and even tidal forces.
Best whiskers – The seal
A cat’s whiskers are incredibly sensitive and help it judge size and distance incredibly accurately. But a seal’s whiskers possess more nerve fibres per hair and are perhaps the most finely tuned whiskers in the animal kingdom. Using them, seals can track fish swimming 180 metres (591feet) away in even the murkiest of water.
Most sensitive hairs – The cricket
When you have a lot of predators, it makes sense to stay alert. The cricket is helped in this quest by possessing incredibly sensitive hairs below its abdomen. These hairs are able to pick up the faintest change in air flows produced by attacking predators such as flying wasps and running spiders.
Good vibrations – The spider
A male spider will often cause the web of a female spider to vibrate in a special manner to alert her that he is about to approach. The vibrations tell the female that the intruder on her web is a potential mate and not a juicy insect ready to be eaten.