The Human Sensory Experience Is Limited. Journey Into Animals' World.

"There's a vast world around us that animals can perceive — but humans can't.

Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Ed Yong uses the example of a dark room: Though it might seem that there would be little to detect in the darkness, a bird in the room would be able to pick up on the magnetic field of the earth and would know which direction to fly if it was time to migrate. A dog would be sniffing out various odors that a human would not be able to smell. A rattlesnake would detect the presence of humans in the room by sensing their infrared radiation.

"Each of these creatures, we could all be sharing exactly the same physical space and have a radically different experience of that space," Yong says.

In his new book, An Immense World, Yong explores the diversity of perception in the animal world and the limitations of our own perception. He notes that each animal has access to its own sensory environment — called an "umwelt" — which creates its own "bespoke sliver of reality." "

Terry Gross reports for NPR's Fresh Air June 22, 2022.

Source: NPR, 06/23/2022