Seal whiskers, the secret weapon for hunting - School of Science, the University of Tokyo
Jun 14, 2022

Seal whiskers, the secret weapon for hunting

Researchers study elephant seal whiskers and their role in the sensing prey


Overview of the press release

The deep ocean is a dark place, yet deep-diving seals can easily locate their prey in that darkness. A multi-national research team has used field-based studies to better understand how seals use their whiskers in their search for prey.


The team published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


Image title: Elephant seal whiskers sensing prey with bioluminescence
Image caption: Researchers from Japan studied the sensor function of elephant seal whiskers in hunting
Image credit: Taiki Adachi, National Institute of Polar Research, ROIS, Japan.
Image usage restrictions: News organizations may use or redistribute this image, with proper attribution, as part of news coverage of this paper only.


Professor Wataru Iwasaki (Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo), contributed to this research.

To read the full press release, please visit the website of the The National Institute of Polar Research.


Publication details

Journal  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America (PNAS)
Whiskers as hydrodynamic prey sensors in foraging seals
Taiki Adachi, Yasuhiko Naito, Patrick W. Robinson, Daniel P. Costa, Luis A. Hückstädt, Rachel R. Holser, Wataru Iwasaki, Akinori Takahashi.


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