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Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262082792 | 344 pp. | 6 x 9 in | October 1999
Paperback | $29.95 Trade | £20.95 | ISBN: 9780262582049 | 344 pp. | 6 x 9 in | February 2001

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Sensory Exotica

A World beyond Human Experience


Bees, birds, bats, fish, and dolphins possess senses that lie far beyond the realm of human experience. In this book Howard C. Hughes tells the story of these "exotic" senses. He tells not only what has been discovered but how it was discovered—including historical misinterpretations of animal perception that we now view with amusement.

The book is divided into four parts: biosonar, biological compasses, electroreception, and the scents of attraction. Although the book is filled with fascinating descriptions of animal sensitivities, the author's goal is to explain the anatomical and physiological principles that underlie them. Knowledge of these mechanisms has practical applications in areas as diverse as marine navigation, biomedical sciences, and nontoxic pest control. It can also help us to obtain a deeper understanding of more familiar sensory systems and the brain in general.

About the Author

Howard C. Hughes is Professor of Psychology at Dartmouth College.


“The wondrous capabilities that Hughes discusses are only beginning to be understood ... but the challenging questions could attract anyone with a sense of curiosity and skills in biology or information technology.... Sensory Exotica may inspire budding scientists to pursue this rich field of inquiry.”


Winner of the 1999 AAP/PSP award in the category of Biological Sciences, granted by the Professional/Scholary Reference Division of the Association of American Publishers.