Whiskers are rooted deeply within the skin and
are surrounded by many blood vessels and nerves.
They are thicker and more rigid than hair. The
main function of whiskers is to provide the animal
with a means of sensing the environment and moving
around in it, especially when it is dark. This
function is similar to the function of antennae.
Usually, the whisker can’t feel anything but when
something brushes against the whisker, it causes
it to vibrate. The nerves in the hair follicle
sense the vibration.
Whiskers are not like hair because the hair
can’t provide any sensory information.
Mammals, except humans, usually have
whiskers. The animals that have whiskers are
in a group called the vibrissal group,
which includes chinchillas, rats, seals, manatees,
dogs, and cats.
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