Segments in this Video

Dog Senses (05:26)


Scientists are working to understand how dogs see the world through studying their senses. Dogs experience the world through smell. A search dog finds a can of meat in a lake.

Smell of Time (05:13)

A theory states dogs can tell time based on smell. A family dog can smell what time its owner will be home. Alexandra Horowitz explains that dogs can tell time based on lingering smells.

Echolocation (06:23)

Dolphins can use echolocation to communicate and identify types of food. A team at the Dolphin Research Center shows that a dolphin can imitate a trainer’s actions in the water while blind-folded.

Animal Perception (07:49)

Animals can perceive things in ways humans cannot. Researcher Eric Stroud explains why sharks have the ability to detect magnetism.

Bird Abilities (05:31)

Birds have an advance sense of sight that allows them to see in any direction and protect themselves while flying. Scientists demonstrate optic flow in a starling.

Combining Senses (10:49)

Some animals use all their senses equally, while other can prioritize them. Researchers study how different species rely on senses.

Socialization of Animals (03:45)

Animals learn what is safe and what will protect them from predators at a young age. Wolves and dogs develop differently; wolves are more fearful of unknown sensations.

Animal Thought (05:19)

Researchers started using technology to determine an animal's thoughts. A neuroscientist has developed a way to study the brain cells of dogs.

Credits: Dogs & Super Senses (01:12)

Credits: Dogs & Super Senses

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Dogs & Super Senses

Part of the Series : Inside Animal Minds
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



What is it like to be a dog, a shark, or a bird? Long the subject of human daydreams, this question is now getting serious attention from scientists who study animal senses. The senses define our experience of the world—they shape our minds, and help make us what we are. Humans rely on smell, sight, taste, touch, and sound, but other animals have super-powered versions of these senses, and a few, like electrically-sensitive sharks, even have extra senses we don't have at all. From a dog who seems to use smell to tell time, to a dolphin who can "see" with his ears, we will discover how animals use their senses in ways we humans can barely imagine. But it's not just the senses that are remarkable—it's the brains that process them. How does a swallow's tiny, one-gram brain take in the flood of visual information that enables the bird to whiz within inches of buildings while flying at 40 miles per hour? How does a dog's mind turn the sight of a hand signal into the happy anticipation of a treat? How has the evolution of the dog—from its wolf ancestors–reshaped its brain? NOVA goes into the minds of animals to "see" the world in an entirely new way.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL131255

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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