Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Roundup-A Tribute to Leap(ing animals) Year and High Frequency Primates

In Honor of Leap Year: Deep Sea News presents this compilation of marine creatures leaping out of their oceanic habitats. Photographers with good timing captured these rare moments, allowing us to see animals like tuna, squid, and sharks, in a different light. The picture of the breaching Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus is stunning. No, the last photograph is not real.

What's the Frequency Kenneth? The world we experience is not necessarily an accurate representation of the way the world actually is. No, I'm not getting philosophical on you, I am trying to make the point that the way that we experience things is based on our senses, including sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch. More specifically, the way we experience things is based on the limits of what our eyes, nose, etc. can do. And, we all know that some animals have better, or different, abilities to sense things. Dogs are famous for their ability to follow scents, vipers can detect infra-red heat, mantis shrimp can see colors we cannot, for some examples. In other words, we are missing out on the world around us. Sarah Buckleitner writes on the Wild Mammal Blog about a recent paper that describes how tarsiers (a type of Asian primate) communicate using sounds that we cannot hear, in ultrasound.


Want to learn more? Check out these scientific articles:

Ramsier, M., Cunningham, A., Moritz, G., Finneran, J., Williams, C., Ong, P., Gursky-Doyen, S., & Dominy, N. (2012). Primate communication in the pure ultrasound Biology Letters DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.1149

Cronin, T., & Marshall, N. (1989). A retina with at least ten spectral types of photoreceptors in a mantis shrimp Nature, 339 (6220), 137-140 DOI: 10.1038/339137a0

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