Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers?
The purpose of having whiskers is not just to protect your face from a cat’s claws, but it serves other purposes too. There are many reasons why dogs have whiskers. Some of them include:
To keep warm when they are sleeping.
For protection against cold weather. (They don’t like it)
As a sign of affection and respect for humans. (It’s very important!)
You may ask yourself, what is the reason behind having whiskers? And how come dogs don’t have them?
Well, there are several theories which explain the origin of canine whisker structure. Here are some of them:
1. To keep warm in winter time.
2. To show respect for humans and other animals.
(Humans are creatures too!)
3. To prevent frostbite during winter times.
(Frostbite is very painful)
4. As a warning system.
(Whiskers are very good at detecting movements)
5. To detect changes in the air.
(Like changes in temperature and humidity)
6. To detect prey in the dark.
(Most nocturnal animals have them)
7. They just look cute!
The whiskers are an important part of a dog’s body, and that’s why they shouldn’t be cut off. But some people do it sometimes by mistake. If you notice that your dog’s whiskers are gone, then take him to the veterinarian immediately because it might be a symptom of an underlying disease.
Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers Under Their Chin?
As we already said, whiskers are very important to dogs because they enable them to sense changes in their environment. In order to whisker broadest range of sensing, breeds with long snouts have whiskers under their chin. It may look funny, but it’s very important for them to survive in the wilderness and in modern cities.
Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers On Their Eyebrows?
You may have never noticed this feature before, but dogs have whiskers on their eyebrows too! It is assumed that these facial hairs serve the same purpose as the rest of them. They may indicate changes in the surrounding environment.
Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?
Cats have whiskers, just like dogs do, but their facial hair is very different from dogs. Unlike dogs, cats have very sensitive whiskers on their face. These hairs are longer and more flexible which allows them to feel any tiny changes in the air current.
The whiskers on your cat’s face allow him to pounce on a prey with perfect accuracy and precision. They are also used to hunt in complete darkness. These hairs can detect air displacement from small prey such as a mouse or a bug.
Are Whiskers Useful For Anything?
The whiskers of your cat are very sensitive, and they can easily break if you pet your cat too hard. That’s why it’s important to respect your cat’s facial hair. Some studies have shown that whiskers are very important for cats when they swim.
The hairs can detect small changes in the water current, and they can help your cat swim with confidence.
Whiskers are also very sensitive to changes in air current. This is very helpful when a cat sneaks up on it’s prey.
Cat whiskers can also be used as a line-teller for a cat. They can help a kitty find its way back home if it gets lost.
Whiskers have also been proven to prevent a cat from bumping into objects and hurting itself. They act as a radar system for felines.
But whiskers won’t help your kitty hunt in the dark. It’s important to remember that whiskers are not eyes, and they can’t see for your pet.
Whiskers are very sensitive, and they can be easily damaged. Don’t pull your pet’s whiskers because you might hurt it’s feelings!
Cat whiskers are very important to your pet. Respect them and never cut them off!
Whiskers can also be a way for a cat to tell if its food is fresh or not. You can read this article about why cats love the taste of wet food so much.
Do fish have whiskers? Are they the same as scales?
Yes, some species of fish do have whiskers, but they aren’t the same thing as scales. Fish whiskers are technically called Lateral Lines. They are hair-like detectory organs that run along each side of a fish’s head, from its nose to the very end of its tail.
Fish use them to sense vibrations in the water. For example, when a fish swims towards your fingers, it isn’t actually sensing the food or you directly. What is happening is that the fish is feeling your vibrations in the water through these whiskers.
These whiskers are so important to the fish that many fishermen remove them from fishing lines before casting their nets. This is because a fish without whiskers won’t be able to sense the bait and won’t bite.
Now you know why we don’t eat fish whiskers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep them as a pet! You can learn how to take good care of your fish here.
Do birds have whiskers? What do they use them for?
Birds don’t have whiskers, but they do have something similar that helps them feel their surroundings. These sensory organs are called rictal bristles, and they are located above a bird’s beak and just below its eyes.
With these sensory organs, a bird can sense the tiniest changes in air pressure. This is very important for birds because it allows them to hear sounds that we cannot.
Birds can also use their sensory organs to sense vibrations in the air and on the ground below them. They are even used to determine whether an egg is fertile or not!
Do snakes have whiskers? If so, what do they use them for?
Snakes don’t have whiskers. They do have rictal bristles located under their eyes and above their jaws, but these sensory organs are only used to sense movement in the air and on the ground below them.
Most snakes can’t hear very well, but they can sense changes in the air around them that we can’t even detect with the help of technology. This is called “pitting”, and it’s how a snake can sense if something is moving towards it, even if that something is very small.
For example, when a snake is ready to attack its prey, it will “pit” the air to try and find the exact location of its dinner. This is why you might see a snake flicker its tongue in and out of its mouth as it prepares to eat. The tongue picks up even the smallest of changes in the air, which tells the snake where to strike.
Can other animals have whiskers? Do Other Pets Have Whiskers?
Yes, but not in the same way that a cat or a rodent does. As you may have guessed, other carnivores keep their whiskers for hunting purposes, but some even use them in the same way that your cat does. Whiskers are great when it comes to detecting whether something is prey or not.
Whales, for example, have whiskers all over their bodies. These are called vibrissae, and they work just like regular whiskers.
Sources & references used in this article:
- SOME NON‐TRADITIONAL PRACTICES IN TRAINING FOR OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP (M Ballner – 2001 – Macmillan)
- What teachers need to know about the “new” nonfiction (S Coren – 2012 – WW Norton & Company)
- Outwitting Cats: Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Persuading the Felines in Your Life That What You Want Is Also What They Want (WG Vinal – School Science and Mathematics, 1953 – Wiley Online Library)
- How dogs think: Understanding the canine mind (SR Gill – The Reading Teacher, 2009 – Wiley Online Library)
- Inside of a dog: What dogs see, smell, and know (W Christensen – 2004 – books.google.com)
- British to a fang, British to a whisker: Reconsidering The Muppet Show’s national identity (S Coren – 2005 – books.google.com)