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Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution$
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Martin Stevens

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199601776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601776.001.0001

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Sensing the World

Sensing the World

(p.21) Chapter 2 Sensing the World
Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution

Martin Stevens

Oxford University Press

Sensory systems have evolved to detect important cues and stimuli from the environment, and to discriminate these from noise (environmental or physiological) or from other irrelevant stimuli. This chapter introduces the many different types of sensory system that have evolved to capture information from sound, light, electric, magnetic, mechanical, heat, and chemical stimuli. It describes the overall features of these different sensory modalities, including the type of sensory receptors involved, the information they gather, and what tasks the sensory system is used for. It also discusses how some animals have evolved an active sense with an ability to emit signals or calls into the environment and measure changes in the properties of returning signals to assess the world around them.

Keywords:   sensory receptors, sensory modality, noise, information, active sense

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