(redirected from vibrissa)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


(vertebrate zoology)
Hairs with specialized erectile tissue; found on all mammals except humans. Also known as sinus hairs; tactile hairs; whiskers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Vertex about 0.3x head width in dorsal view; inner vertical seta stout and curved backward, about 1.5x length of reclinate orbital seta; ocellar seta weak almost not differentiated from ocellar triangle setulae; fronto-orbital plate with about 13 frontal setae, upper seta slightly stronger than fronto-orbital setulae; frontal setae ending just before lower margin of pedicel; fronto-orbital plate slightly narrower than parafacial; first flagellomere about 1.3x length of pedicel; pedicel about 2.95x length of scape; third aristomere about 1.8x length of first flagellomere; facial ridge with row of stout supravibrissal setae on lower 0.4 of its length, setae 0.3-0.5x length of vibrissa; anteroventral margin of gena with row of setae extending backward, setae 0.3-0.4x length of vibrissa.
To examine the in vivo expression of cytokines of interest, mid-anagen vibrissa follicles dissected from three Zin40 mice were used as a source of RNA.
In our hands, rat vibrissa follicle dermal papilla cells lose this inductive capacity around passage 4 in culture [47].
Vibrissal angle relatively round and blunt, vibrissa strong and located at level of lower eye margin.
Rats (n = 8) were injected with capsaicin (20 [micro]l, 1.5 [micro]g) subcutaneously into the right vibrissa pad, using a 27 gauze needle.
These results indicate that Prostaglandins (PGs), particularly peripheral PGs are involved in nociceptive behaviour following formalin injection into the vibrissa pad.
The close relationship of Nia vibrissa and Halocyphina villosa could not have been predicted based on morphology.
Phylogenetic relationships of the marine gasteromycete Nia vibrissa. Mycologia 93: 679-688.
Cheek:eye ratio: 0.18:0.21; 1 strong black vibrissa with additional seta (ca 0.5x as long as dorsal, sometimes longer); palpus yellowish with slightly darkened apex, proboscis yellowish, apically more brownish; antenna yellowish brown; first flagellomere egg-shaped, yellowish brown, more darkened dorsally; arista brown, long plumose, with rays much longer than diameter of basal segment; first flagellomere ratio: 1.86:2.09; flagellomere:cheek ratio: 0.93:1.00.
The autapomorphies that characterize the Chyromyidae with respect to the Heteromyzidae are: a pale yellow integument; membranous face; vibrissa absent; wing with veins [R.sub.2+3] and [R.sub.4+5] convergent; dorsal preapical tibial seta absent; postabdomen symmetrical in both sexes; two spermathecae; articulated surs; prg and psg; and halophilous habits.
Absent vibrissa. The loss of the vibrissa is uncommon in the Schizophora and in the Chyromyidae this is an apomorphy relative to the outgroup.
Thus, recent anatomical results demonstrate the existence of a monosynaptic pathway from vibrissa motor cortex to facial motor neurons in the rat [175].