English: A profile of a beautifully shaped human Nose, from a Belgian male aged 80. Français : (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Where we humans struggle to really see anything at all, at night, we become truly aware of the limitations nature has imposed upon our five senses, compared to those of many species that share the natural world with us, but interpret the signals they receive from it very differently, even plants having some sensory abilities that outshine ours.
The ability to see is our most important sense, aour eyes being very complex structures indeed. Though human vision can detect a wide range of colors, andreasonably good distance recognition, our optic senses seem laughable, when compared to those of other creatures.
For example, an Eagle thousands of feet above ground will spot a distant rabbit below with pinpoint accuracy, and some bird species could have retinal cells sensitive to magnetism, within their eyes, helping them to navigate vast distances so effortlessly.
Research scientists are convinced that this so-called magnetic sensing is common to all animal life, to varying degrees, and humans with good s directional senses will have t Magnetite fragments in the brains, the same stuff found in bird beaks , or Rainbow Trout snouts, built in natural compasses, apparently.
Highly sophisticated eyes, like those of bees, usually come in packages, these insects having five in total. Two large eyes, each with nearly 7,000 lenses, and three extremely specialized single lens eyes, enabling ultra-violet light vision. These are light wavelengths well beyond human range.
Inects view the world then, as do birds, in completely different ways to humans, from the angle of colour perception, and even plant-life hasfar more sensitivity to colour than does mankind. Their cells contain proteins so light sensitive and responsive to surrounding colors, that the taste of crops can be influenced by farmers providing different background colors for them.
It is not just human vision that is wanting, either, because our sense of taste is comparatively abysmal, just like our ability to smell things. An organ within the human nose, Jacobsens, known in animals as the verosomel organ, seems to have become less effective in humans, as evolution has progressed, yet is undoubtedly the most sensitive system of recognition in nature when fully functioning.
Human-nose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bloodhounds, famously used as tracker dogs, are 10,000 times more sensitive to scents than humans, but compared to snakes, even Bloodhounds are second-rate, snake tongues able to the most detecting microscopic of chemical traces, meaning that prey many miles away from where the snake is can be tracked down. Indeed, the faint chemical signals called pheromones, unconsciously detected by human males when a female is interested, occur widely in nature, an examole of Jacobsens organ at work.i
This organ could well play a part in the sense of taste, though not yet scientifically proven , though it does appear that plants can also, in a manner of speaking, taste chemical signatures, particular genes in plant cells enabling the sending of roots towards the richest food sources.
On this world of ours, humanity may be at the top of the food chain, but nature has a habit of putting us firmly in our place, when we get too cocky, and until we humans possess super senses, many other, supposedly lesser creatures will continue to push us into the shade, where we really belong. If truth were being told, the only super sense humanity has is the gigantic sense of self.
I have been writing for pleasure for half a century, but only started writing for money around 1994. Since then I have had a few thousand articles, stories and poems published on line and in print all round the world.
I am now 63 years old, male, from Burnley in the UK, and apart from writing, I love to read - mainly crime thrillers, conspiracy theory books and science fiction, though I also love films, gardening and chatting with my wife who is also my best friend.
I enjoy feedback from readers, and interaction with fellow writers. Anyone who gets in touch with me will get a reply. I am always happy to read and comment upon the work of others, as I think we writers are something of a definite sub-species of humanity!