The Super-Powered Detecting Skills of Animals

BBC Earth has compiled wonderfully soothing footage of several animals displaying their super-powered detecting skills through hearing, smell, and sight. The story features a barn owl looking for food, a dog named Max who detected cancer in his human, a herd of elephants reacting to unheard sounds, and a tenacious wolverine’s incredible sense of smell.

Elephants with incredible hearing, dogs that can detect cancer and silent and stealthy owls – the animal kingdom is full of super-powered creatures.

Maureen Burns shared a very touching story about when Max realized that she had breast cancer long before tests confirmed it.

I thought at the time Max was fading …And I was preparing myself for losing him because he just wasn’t happy. …And the odd signs: he would come up and touch my breast with his nose and back off, so desperately unhappy, with such a sad look in his eyes. Maureen had a small lump in her breast but her latest mammogram was clear, so she presumed all was okay.….. And one day, I was looking in the mirror in the bedroom here and I looked across in the mirror at Max’s eyes … and I knew it was cancer. Maureen went to her local hospital, but both a scan and a mammogram came back negative. It took a surgical biopsy to finally detect the cancer. Maureen had it removed and the change in Max’s behaviour was instant.

This story was fully told in an episode of Secret Life of Dogs.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.