1 Zoology Long stiff hairs growing around the mouth or elsewhere on the face of many mammals, used as organs of touch; whiskers.
- They also have large vibrissae, stiff whisker-like hairs above the upper lip and at the corners of the mouth.
- Rather, they find food via the sensitive touch of their 600 to 700 vibrissae, or whiskers, which have been likened to multifingered hands on the animals' snouts.
- They use their vibrissae as sensing organs underwater to monitor the movements of fishes and other prey.
Late 17th century: from Latin, literally 'nostril hairs'.
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