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Studying mammals: Meat eaters
Studying mammals: Meat eaters

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Senses

Being an effective predator requires efficient sense organs. Prey often has to be located from a considerable distance and good spatial awareness comes into play during the moments of capture. The precise mix of sensory inputs used varies a good deal, just as it does in other animal groups; many rely on good eyesight for hunting; for others, smell and/or hearing are especially important. And you'll know from the TV programme (for example, in what was said about the importance of smell in brown hyenas) and from LoM pp. 143-144, these same sensory capacities are important in contexts far removed from hunting - in this instance, in maintaining group cohesion. The following specific examples show just how important such senses are in diverse aspects of the lives of different carnivores.