The Strange and Secret Ways That Animals Perceive the World

| June 20, 2022 | Leave a Comment

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Date of Publication: June 6

Year of Publication: 2022

Publication City: New York, NY

Publisher: The New Yorker

Author(s): Elizabeth Kolbert

Nonhuman creatures have senses that we’re just beginning to fathom. What would they tell us if we could only understand them?

One evening almost sixty years ago, a Tufts University researcher named Roger Payne was working in his lab when he heard a radio report about a whale that had washed up on a beach nearby. Although it was a cold, wet March night, he decided to drive to the shore. When he arrived, he discovered that the animal had been mutilated. Two passersby had carved their initials in its flanks. Someone had hacked off its flukes, and another person, or perhaps the same one, had stuck a cigar butt in its blowhole. Payne stood in the rain for a long time, gazing at the corpse. He had been studying moths; now he decided to switch his attention to cetaceans.

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