[BBC] SUPERSENSE: PERCEPTION IN THE ANIMAL WORLD BY JOHN DOWNER
Hardcover, 160 Pages, Published 1988
0563206608 | 0-563-20660-8 | 978-0563206606 | 978-0-563-20660-6
Published November 10th 1988 by BBC Books/Ebury Publishing
On Earth we are bombarded with information in the form of light, sound and electro-magnetic waves. The human senses filter most of this information out, and we experience life through five narrow windows on the world with the curtains barely open. Animals also use their senses to perceive their surroundings, but are receptive to a selection of information different from that of humans: dogs, for instance, have a sense of smell many times greater than our own, and goldfish can see the beam of light from a TV remote control. Linked to a six-part television series, the illustrations and text of this book are interwoven to reveal the remarkable perceptions and senses used by animals to gauge the world around them.
“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 stranding. 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”.–Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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