Science Word of the Week: Electroreception

A genie is willing to grant you one wish. Since your dream is to become the world’s best hide-and-seek player, your wish is to be given the unique animal adaptation of “electroreception.” Of course, the genie allowed you to go home and do your homework before demanding your one and only wish. You researched all sorts of adaptations that might help you become the global master of hide-and-seek. After considering infrared vision and an acute sense of smell, you decided to go with electroreception. You learned about the shark which uses a jelly-filled organ on its snout to pick up on electrical signals coming off twitching muscle fibers from prey in the water. You also discovered the cuddly platypus (though after studying the platypus you realize the ‘cuddly’ platypus is actually a deadly creature) uses its bill to pick up on weak electrical fields put out by other animals when it has to hunt through muddy and murky waters. Satisfied with the ability to pick up on even the slightest of muscle fiber twitching from your hiding opponents, you ask the genie for the adaptation of “electroreception” as your one wish. The genie, expecting to roll out the most expensive car or to dump a mountain of cash in front of you, rolls his eyes, chuckles, and grants you your one strange wish.

close up view of plasma
Photo by Pixabay on

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