AGM followed by a talk by Dr Robyn Grant: “The walrus’s whiskers and the mouse’s moustache: why do animals have whiskers?” 28th April, 7:30pm
One of the most striking features on the faces of many mammals
are the presence of their long whiskers, or vibrissae. Primarily,
these are used for touch sensing, and can be employed to guide
behaviours such as foraging, navigation, and social interactions.
Most mammals have whiskers at some stage of their life, and these
have a common muscle architecture. While similarities in whisker
position and muscle architecture suggest a common mammalian
ancestor with whiskers, variations in morphology and anatomy
reveal that whiskers are also adapted to function in many species.
This presentation will describe similarities and differences in
mammalian whisker morphology and behaviour. We find that
whiskers are especially prominent in nocturnal, arboreal and
aquatic mammals, that also tend to move their whiskers.
Understanding more about differences in whisker form and function
will provide important insights into mammalian sensory biology.
Dr Robyn Grant is a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Physiology
and Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is a
sensory biologist, studying the sense of touch in mammals and
birds. She works closely with museums and zoos to better
understand the functional significance of facial sensors.
Wednesday 28th April 2021
This event will be held online via Zoom
Members - £2.50 Non members - £4.50
Please follow the link to Eventbrite to book your place
All profits we take will go towards the following:
The running of our talks
The Harvest Mouse Project
Our Small Grants Scheme
Maintaining equipment for members to borrow
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