"The whiskers go forward, the animal latches itself in the lane and swims behind until it has the boat, " Dehnhardt describes the behavior of Nick and Henry. The whiskers help the animals to locate the water currents generated by the submarine. If you tie them together with a mask, the animals can no longer find the submarine. In further investigations Dehnhardt and his colleagues want to find out the maximum distance a seal can find a fish.
Marine animals must be able to locate their prey even in dark or murky water. For example, the dolphins have developed an echolocation system. They locate their prey by sound waves, measuring how long an echo takes to return to them. Researchers have long suspected that the whiskers of the seals are also a help in the hunt, but only for much shorter distances. The Cologne researchers have now shown that they play a crucial role even over long distances.Cornelia Pfaff advertisement