Why Do Dogs have Whiskers?

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Why Do Dogs have Whiskers?

Most of the animals have whiskers. Dogs also have long rough hairs which are grown far from each other around the nose of the dog and on the upper lip. These are also called as whiskers. Whiskers are also found in the forehead region of the dog. The scientific name of it is called vibrissae. Whiskers do give a good appearance to the dog. Apart from just giving great appearance whiskers carry out an important function. Whiskers are studied by the researchers as hairs that possess sensory touch. These hairs are compared to the human finger tips. The hairs are also seen above the eyes of the dog which are found to be shorter than those found near the muzzle.

Whiskers are the first hair that grows in the new born puppy. The size of the whiskers is longer and they are embedded thrice deeper. The whisker tip in its root is placed amidst a group of small nerves. The follicle in the whiskers is connected with tuft of nerves which make the hair as sensory receptor. Whiskers are sensitive in receiving the touch of the air currents. They send the vibrations of the air currents to the brain. The brain will signal the animal to sense the nearing wild animal.

In dog, eye lashes are also considered to be working similar to the whiskers as the eyelashes were found to flicker whenever whiskers move over any object. The shutting of the eye lashes will protect the dog from the dust and any other harmful agents. When dogs are walking in the night their way is guided by whiskers easily. Whiskers serve as antennae to sense the objects that come their way when they are moving in the dark. The ability of the dogs to sense the smell from very long distance is due to the whiskers. So they help dogs in hunting the accused. Whiskers help the dogs to detect the prey that is lying far away.

Author: Hari M

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