Supersense: Perception in the Animal World

John Downer, Author Henry Holt & Company $24.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1087-9
If you peered into ``the hundred eyes of a scallop,'' what would you see? What would it see? This heavily illustrated volume, companion to a BBC-TV series produced by wildlife photographer Downer, describes aspects of sight, sound, smell and time perception in animals. A focus on extremes engages the reader while introducing difficult concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. We learn of the similarities between piranha and goldfish--each is able to see much farther into the red-end of the spectrum than are humans; discover that a fly's high ``flicker fusion frequency'' would enable it, if watching a movie, to see scenes frame by frame; and contemplate the ``sinister implications'' of hunting sharks' attraction to vibrations of 200 hertz--the frequency produced by a hovering helicopter--while learning that areas of low magnetism correspond to sites of whale strandings. Dramatic, sometimes disconcerting, photographs close in on a dragonfly's eyes, focus on an Asian green pit viper and portray leaping impalas, hunting owls, lion cubs, elephants, bats, rats, grunion, alligators. And yes, honeybees can suffer jet-lag. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-8069-7134-6
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