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(vertebrate zoology)
Hairs with specialized erectile tissue; found on all mammals except humans. Also known as sinus hairs; tactile hairs; whiskers.



tactile hairs that protrude above the furry covering in mammals. The vibrissae are usually distributed in clumps on the head (on the nose, above the eyes, on the lower jaw, and so forth), and they are sometimes found on other parts of the body also (for example, in many marsupials, on the paws). They greatly resemble ordinary hairs but are several times thicker and longer. Vibrissae are specialized sense organs that perceive even the smallest variations in the environment. The base of each vibrissa is immersed in a hair follicle and surrounded by venous cavities (hence the English term for vibrissae, “sinus hairs”). Vibrissae on the head are innervated by the trigeminal nerve. The structure of the skull bones of ancient animal-like reptiles indicates that vibrissae were apparently developed in the ancestors of mammals and may be regarded as an older formation than hair. Sometimes the large hairs in the nasal cavities of humans and certain large, chitinous bristles on the bodies of insects are also called vibrissae.


Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Osnovy sravnitel’noi anatomii pozvonochnykh zhivotnykh, 4th ed. Moscow, 1947.
lablokov, A. V., and G. A. KlevezaT. “Vibrissy kitoobraznykh i lastonogikh, ikh raspredelenie, stroenie i znachenie.” In the collection Morfologicheskie osobennosti vodnykh mlekopitaiushchikh. Moscow, 1964.


References in periodicals archive ?
Vibrissal angle relatively round and blunt, vibrissa strong and located at level of lower eye margin.
These results indicate that Prostaglandins (PGs), particularly peripheral PGs are involved in nociceptive behaviour following formalin injection into the vibrissa pad.
alpha], [beta]-amyrin inhibits the neurogenic inflammatory pain induced by capsaicin injection into the vibrissa pad, as evidenced by naloxone-reversible suppression of facial grooming (Fig.
The remaining aquatic species in our dataset, Nia vibrissa (marine) and Limnoperdon incarnatum (freshwater), have lost ballistospory and produce spores inside minute (ca.
Male frons narrow, frontal vitta brown to black, with longitudinal crinkle, fronto-orbital plate and parafacial with gleamy yellowish-white and silver pruinosity, all with small hairs, fronto-orbital plate with transverse strip, parafacial and gena broad, frontal angle and vibrissa angle all projecting, gena about 1/2 of eye in height, antenna scape and pedicel red-brown to black, most of first flagellomere red-brown, first flagellomere at least 2.
Medial Distal Proximal ante-brachial vibrissa and distal vibrissae vibrissae Nasals at Expanded Expanded maxilo-frontal suture Palatine Present Usually fenestrae absent Subsquamosal Constricted Enlarged foramen anteroposteriorly anteroposteriorly Accessory Absence of Males and females cusps of C1 accessory cusps with posterior accessory cusps Anterolabial Continuous shelf Continuous shelf margin of tooth crown of M3 TL 251.
The autapomorphies that characterize the Chyromyidae with respect to the Heteromyzidae are: a pale yellow integument; membranous face; vibrissa absent; wing with veins [R.