Bumblebees sense electricity with their fine hairs


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Wouldn’t this also be true of the vast majority of setae bearing arthropods?

Even if they’re not designed to detect electricity they tend to be charged and would respond to a field.

I’m thinking this is more of an ‘oh, yeah, I guess they’d do that too’ thing rather than a sense that’s been evolved to avoid something. I’m 95% sure it wouldn’t even help against uloborid webs (which do use an electrostatic effect) until the web already has them.

They’d of course still be able to take advantage of it, but it looks like it’s impacting the same setae that detect forces (wind and such), so it’d be a variance in their normal senses rather than a brand new one.


Of course they sense electricity. That’s why they buzz.*

  • This comment provided by Dad Jokes.


Another amazing discovery to file under “Things that made too much sense to realize before now.”


I discovered something when I started shaving my legs: I can’t tell if there’s water on me if the water is the same temperature as I am. I suspect there’s a lot of “senses” that we take for granted that are really a lot like that.


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