|University of Sheffield|
A new study by the same group has now shown that a South American marsupial which is thought to be related to some of the earliest mammals shows a similar behavior. It suggests that whisking by these early evolving mammals, which were primarily nocturnal, gave them an important advantage over the more common reptiles of that period.
The team is now developing robots with whiskers that can navigate without vision. They would have potential in search and rescue operations where smoke and dust precludes vision. An interesting idea as long as they don't teach them to chew our electrical cords.
How do rats sneak through small spaces? These and other answers are at ratbehavior.org
* Science Daily 2007