Our five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch – are the way we sense the world. But many animals have senses with very different abilities from ours, so they perceive the world differently than we do. You could say that we live in different worlds.
Bees can see colours that people can’t, a type of light called ultraviolet. Many flowers have patterns on them that bees can see but we can’t.
Bats can hear sounds that are too high for people to hear; they find their way around in the dark by making these high-pitched sounds and listening to the echoes. Elephants can hear sounds that are too low for people to hear; they use these sounds to communicate over long distances.
If you have a dog, you’ve probably noticed that it goes around sniffing things. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell that’s much better than ours. A dog could smell a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water.
Some animals have senses that we don’t even have! Some snakes have an organ on their face that lets them detect warm objects from far away. Sharks have organs for detecting the electric fields produced by living things.
People mostly rely on our sense of sight to get around, but our sense of touch is pretty good too. Here’s an activity to test your sense of touch.
- A blindfold
- A helper
- Several objects from around your house
- Put the blindfold on.
- Ask your helper to choose several objects from around your house. These could include some of your toys. Don’t choose anything breakable or sharp!
- Have your helper hand you the objects one by one. Feel their shapes, their textures, and whether they’re hard or soft. Try to figure out what they are!
For more great activities and ideas to explore the five senses, visit Caitie’s Classroom and her show all about the senses.
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