Organism: a living thing that can be small like bacteria or large like an elephant.
You wake up, but stay in bed for a moment, sensing the world around you. You feel your muscles pull as you stretch under the soft covers and slowly open your eyes. You might see light coming in through the blinds, hear a car honk outside, smell someone cooking breakfast, or taste dry toothpaste on your lips from brushing your teeth the night before.
As a living organism, it’s important for you to be able to sense and respond to the environment around you. Humans and many other animals have five main senses that help them understand the world around them. How do each of these senses work, and what happens when they don’t work properly?
Starting here, you can take a tour of the senses that many animals, including humans, experience:
Which sense do you rely on the most? And how you might start to rely on other senses more if one of your senses were to stop working?
Additional images via Wikimedia Commons. Hand and flower by Øyvind Holmstad. Fennec foxes by Anass ERRIHANI.
Dr. Biology. (2017, October 16). Sensing the World. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved September 20, 2023 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/senses
Dr. Biology. "Sensing the World". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 16 October, 2017. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/senses
Dr. Biology. "Sensing the World". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 16 Oct 2017. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 20 Sep 2023. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/senses