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  WHISKER FACE

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   Why whiskers are important  

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WHISKERS

 

Add to the charm & character of their face.

 

Whiskers are important parts of a panther’s body. These stems of touch scientifically known as Vibrissae, are specially adapted hairs, designed to sense any movement or object near to the cats body.

 

The whiskers can pick up on air currents, the slightest shift of a breeze or breath.

 

These hairs help the panther feel its way when moving through terrain at night, in tight or dark spaces, allowing them to sense tangible objects in the surrounding habitat, like a cave wall, branches, leaves, or the body of another animal.

 

A whisker is very fine at the tip and thick at the base, the stem of the whisker pokes deep into the tissue; there are many nerve endings below the skin at the root of each individual hair. These nerves transmit every tactile stimulation and carry the information to the brain, allowing the panther to then deduce what it is that is being felt.     

 

There are whiskers in different places of the body: eyebrows, cheeks, chin, & inside the foreleg. Cats can move the cheek or muzzle whiskers into different positions: out to the side, folded close to the cheek, & forward in an embracing position. They do this so they can detect not only movement around them, but the twitching of prey they hold in their jaws. Being able to move the whiskers also allows them to enhance their facial expressions.  

 

Whiskers are a vital aid to the panther when taking down prey, they alert the cat to crucial movements of the animal in their grasp, they could help to prevent injury if the prey resists by thrashing, and guide the cat to make a well placed lethal bite.

  

 

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