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Author Topic: Why are a rat's whiskers so long?  (Read 2247 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why are a rat's whiskers so long?
« on: 12/06/2009 04:42:01 »
This is Dustbin Sid:



(That white blob on his nose isn't Photoshopped - it's yogurt. I think the flash made it look like that)

I've heard (although I don't know if it's true) that a cat's whiskers span the width of its body so it can tell if it can fit through a gap. Having looked at Dustbin Sid's whiskers I can categorically state that this most certainly does not apply to him. Although he's fat (he does dine exceedingly well) his whiskers span at least twice the width of his body.

So, ratologists, what's the answer? Why are Sid's whiskers so long? I'm sure they can't be like that just to tickle my ear when he's perched on my shoulder.
« Last Edit: 12/06/2009 04:44:18 by DoctorBeaver »


 

Offline Don_1

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Why are a rat's whiskers so long?
« Reply #1 on: 12/06/2009 08:32:30 »
I think that the whiskers are more sensors than measurer's, the longer the whiskers, the better they can detect air disturbances.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why are a rat's whiskers so long?
« Reply #2 on: 12/06/2009 08:59:21 »
How would that work if it's windy?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why are a rat's whiskers so long?
« Reply #3 on: 12/06/2009 09:03:08 »
That's when they come inside and eat all of your biscuits.
 

Offline Don_1

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Why are a rat's whiskers so long?
« Reply #4 on: 12/06/2009 09:28:05 »
How would that work if it's windy?

Now I'm glad you asked that.......... NOT!!!

I think it has something to do with the configuration of all the whiskers which allows the ability to tell the difference between air movement and the disturbance of air movement. I suppose on very windy days, they're just buggered.
 

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Why are a rat's whiskers so long?
« Reply #4 on: 12/06/2009 09:28:05 »

 

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