The Sensory World of the Rat

The Sensory World of the Rat

Just a quick one today to link you, if you’re interested, to this great little page by a Californian rat behaviourist, Anne Hanson.  I make a conscious effort, whenever I think about human-animal interaction or communication, to consider how the same interaction might be perceived from the other side of the fence, as it were.  So, wherever possible I will try to include some information about the animal perspective(s) of the topics covered in the blog.

As I’m sure you can imagine, taking another animal’s perspective – or another person’s, for that matter – is not an easy task (as famously discussed by the philosopher Nagel, if you fancy some, ahem, light reading).  Fortunately, some very diligent scientists have gathered enough information about the physiology of other species to allow them to piece together how they are likely to perceive the world. Hanson’s overview is well-researched and follows on nicely from my musings yesterday about the variety of sensory abilities across species.  Sure, you can see red, but can you hear the ultrasonic squeaks of bats hunting outside?  Thought not.

If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, maybe just look at these videos to get an idea of how the Masked Bandits (probably) see the world.  Our Pearl Masked Bandit is not an albino,  but due to his red eyes his vision is probably only slightly better than that in the albino example.

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2 thoughts on “The Sensory World of the Rat

  1. Jenny says:

    Love these thoughts on the rat’s ümvelt (which is officially my favorite new word).

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