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Sense of touch in mammals

About mammals > Sensory systems mammal
The star-nosed mole

Mammals use their sense of touch in different ways. Tactile interactions are important for intraspecific communication, well known to a human who has benefited from the comfort of a hug. Often, touch plays an important role in female mammals recognizing their infants. Seal pups often reunite with their mothers by exchanges of vocalizations that terminate in nuzzling. Grooming often involves touching, such as in two chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) carefully stroking and picking at each other’s fur.

Primates have an especially well-developed sense of touch, having friction ridges (finger prints) on the tips of their digits used for careful investigation of objects. Although dolphins do not have limbs for grasping, their sleek, hairless skin is especially sensitive to touch at various locations on the body, specifically, the gape of the mouth, the gum, and tongue, and the insertion point of the flipper. Dolphins commonly swim close to each other, touching and rubbing their bodies together. The spectacular nasal appendages of the star-nosed mole (Talpidae) are extremely sensitive to touch and are used to locate and identify prey.

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