Whiskers help seals not only to track prey at a distance, but to determine its size, found researchers from the University of Manchester.
"They can bring the face to an object and the number coming in contact with him antennae to determine whether a subject or small", — quotes the British air force Dr Robin Grant.
The study also showed how quickly the seals will be able to estimate the size of the prey. "We found that they do this very quickly — all decisions they take less than half a second," — said Grant, who studied the behavior of two trained seals named Marco and Me at the research center for marine research at the University of the German city of Rostock.
During the study, the seals put on a special mask and headphones to restrict the organs of sight and hearing and force to use only mustache in the course of the experiment in which they had to sense two different size drive.
Scientists wanted to find out whether seals to determine the difference in size, knowing in advance that the "right answer" they can expect a reward in the form of a fish. Seals had poked his nose into the "correct disk". More of them were determined for Me, and the smaller for Marco.
Both handled correctly, and to determine the size of the disks they were able, utilizing only the most short and close-growing moustache on faces, and not all the "whiskers". This allowed the researchers to conclude: seals size some things mustache.
This technique is particularly relevant in the murky waters where potential prey, seals, hard to see, the article notes.
Last year German scientists during the experiment in the same research center in Rostock found that seals are able to track a fish mustache at a distance up to 100 meters.