Raccoon Superpower – Touch
The most important sense for the raccoon is its sense of touch. The “hyper sensitive” front paws are protected by a thin horny layer which becomes pliable when wet. The five digits of the paws have no webbing between them, which is unusual for a carnivoran.
They are able to identify objects before touching them with vibrissae located above their sharp, nonretractable claws. There is no observed negative effect on tactile perception when a raccoon stands in water below 10 °C (50 °F) for hours.
Raccoons were able to open 11 of 13 complex locks in fewer than 10 tries and had no problems repeating the action when the locks were rearranged or turned upside down.
Dog Superpower – Smell
A dog’s brain is specialized for identifying scents. The percentage of the dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is actually 40 times larger than that of a human! It’s been estimated that dogs can identify smells somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than nasally challenged humans can.
Owl Superpower – Vision
Of all an Owl’s features, perhaps the most striking is its eyes. Large and forward facing, they may account for one to five percent of the Owl’s body weight, depending on species. The forward facing aspect of the eyes that give an Owl its “wise” appearance, also give it a wide range of “binocular” vision (seeing an object with both eyes at the same time). This means the owl can see objects in 3 dimensions (height, width, and depth), and can judge distances in a similar way to humans. The field of view for an owl is about 110 degrees, with about 70 degrees being binocular vision.
By comparison, humans have a field of view that covers 180 degrees, with 140 degrees being binocular. A woodcock has an amazing 360 degree field of view, because its eyes are on the side of its head. However, less than 10 degrees of this is binocular.
An Owl’s eyes are large in order to improve their efficiency, especially under low light conditions. In fact, the eyes are so well developed, that they are not eye balls as such, but elongated tubes. They are held in place by bony structures in the skull called Sclerotic rings. For this reason, an Owl cannot “roll” or move its eyes – that is, it can only look straight ahead!
The Owl more than makes up for this by being able to turn its head up to 270 degrees left or right from the forward facing position, and almost upside down.
Rabbit Superpower – Hearing
Hearing is a rabbit’s most vital sense, hence the large upright ears. The auditory system is used to detect predators, as well as to help a rabbit perceive the area around him. Acoustics help to overcome the reduced visual abilities by allowing the rabbit to navigate without difficulty. Sound waves bounce off objects, allowing the rabbit to recognize the arrangement of his surroundings.
Most rabbits have large, erect ears. When alert, the ears move forward and backward as they attempt to pinpoint the danger. When the rabbit is relaxed, the ears lie along his back, but they are quite responsive to noise. The slightest sound can be detected from very far away. A rabbit’s sense of sound is vastly developed, far more finely tuned than his vision.
Catfish Superpower – Taste
A 6-inch catfish may have 250,000 taste buds. They cover its entire body inside and out including its fins, back, belly and tail – making it literally a swimming tongue. In comparison, we have around 10,000 taste buds. Understandably this makes them exceptional at detecting food. For instance, imagine being able to taste a single drop of coke in an Olympic size swimming pool. A catfish could.
Snake Superpower – Intuition – Body Radar
Serpents can sense a coming earthquake from 120km (75 miles) away, up to five days before it happens. They respond by behaving extremely erratically. “When an earthquake is about to occur, snakes will move out of their nests, even in the cold of winter. If the earthquake is a big one, the snakes will even smash into walls while trying to escape,” he said.
Along with the five main senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch) some snakes have another sixth sense. The ability to sense the heat of other creatures. With organs to sense infrared radiation, snakes pick up on the warmth of nearby animals. This special sense organ is so sensitive that it can detect a temperature change of as little as 2/1000 of a degree. This helps the snake detect and accurately strike at prey, even in complete darkness. Some even posit that a snake has up to 9 senses…that we know of!
The acuity of snakes’ sense of touch, the scientists say, might mean that the animals are “capable of things that we did not realise before”.
A snake’s jaw is linked directly to its inner ear, allowing it to literally hear surface vibrations. Snake jawbones are so sensitive that a horned desert viper can accurately strike at a small, quiet mouse coming up behind him … in the middle of a pitch-black night.