Superpets: The Superhero Skills of Animals

Earlier this year, a superhero film with a difference was released.  DC League of Superpets hit the silver screen and was praised for its storyline, animation, and humour.

The film covers the story of a Labrador Retriever that has escaped his destroyed planet alongside a fellow survivor called Kal-El and heads to earth.

Many years later, on earth, they are fully-fledged superheroes known as Krypto and Superman. Playing out like a superman story but with animals very much in the main roles, it got us thinking about how our pets, and animals in general have their very own superhero skills!

With this in mind, we delved into the unique attributes that some animals have. The things that make them stand out and, you could say, make them mini superheroes!




Which animals have the most heightened senses?

In the wild, animals must rely on their senses for survival. Perceiving change or stimulus in the environment is vital. Without having themselves finely attuned to the world around them can pretty much mean the difference between life and death.

As humans, we use our five senses much more than we may realise and the loss of one can severely impact our lives. We are still some way off however from having them work to the level they do on animals.

Over time, the evolution of many animals has led to senses developing in different ways. Some, for example, have developed more unique and refined hunting skills, while others have seen certain senses improve due to being weaker in other areas. So which animals have developed some extra super senses that could make superheroes feel a little insignificant?

1, Duck-billed Platypus-Electroreception

Swimming at varying depths means that hunting can often be a challenge for much aquatic life. Not for a duck-billed platypus though! Their bill has developed to have super sensitive sensors that work on electroreception. They can accurately detect prey from quite a distance no matter how deep the water.

2. Bats- Echolocation

It has long been known that bats are creatures of the night which in itself means that there are likely to be needing plenty of heightened senses. However, it is their use of echolocation that makes them utilise the sense of sound to the maximum. Using their mouths, they produce a sound that will bounce off objects. This then helps them locate food, necessary changes in flight, and get from A-2-B in the dark.

3. Snakes-Infrared radiation detection

Now 5 senses may seem like plenty, but if you are a snake, 6 is the way to go. Infrared radiation detection may sound like a superhero assistance device but in the real world, our slithery friends use it to their benefit. Vipers, Pythons and the other larger snakes can carefully weave their way to their prey in the dark thanks to this unique sense. They use it to detect the thermal radiation that is emitted by the animals they are hunting. This means even a blind snake can locate its foe and claim victory.

4. Catfish- sense of taste

When we enjoy a good meal, we are giving our 10,000 tastebuds a tantalising treat, however, give that same meal to a catfish and 175,000 taste receptors are finding out just how good that food tastes! Located throughout the entire body, these sensitive cells allow for a much more immersive meal experience than one we may have! In addition, the whiskers not only help with taste but also help locate more morsels for it to feat upon.




What are the super senses in pet dogs?

In the film Superpets, our main character is a canine and there could well be some sensory based thought behind that based on fact. Aside from the how he can fly…..

Dogs have incredible senses of smell and hearing. If you were to compare this to a human, you would be surprised just how heightened this sense is. We typically have 5 million receptors that help us detect odours. Dogs have a staggering 150-300million. In the wild, it would be helpful to locate prey and avoid predators but in domesticated life, we utilise this skill for dogs to track missing people. Detect hazards and even find diseases.

When it comes to hearing, a dog has the ability to utilise the 15 different muscles in the ear. Able to hear sounds four times further away than what humans can, this skill helps them to alert owners to disturbances, danger, and in some cases fun! In addition, each ear can move independently meaning that even more acoustics can be picked up!

Dogs also have a heightened sense of… let’s call it telepathy…Without training, they can read bad intentions and notice things that are out of the ordinary for their owners. They can read body language extremely well and know when people are sad, anxious, nervous or happy.

What super senses do cats have?

Feline friends are always entertaining but sometimes this isn’t showing off, it’s just using their senses to the best of their ability! Cats are much like dogs with their hearing but imagine that dog’s hearing capability and then increase it even more. Cats have 27 muscles in their ears and can hear sounds from over a quarter of a mile away. They can also hear higher frequencies than dogs and determine how far the sound travelled to reach them!

A superhero-style talent that cats have that we all seem to know of yet may have never seen is their ability to land on their feet. Using something known as the righting reflex, they can correct the positioning of their body when falling to make sure they land on their feet. Due to the low body-to-weight ratio they have, the speed at which they fall is reduced allowing for the quick flip.

A cat also has a rather unique sense of touch. The whiskers that adorn its upper lip, cheeks, and back of legs act as detectors for distance, temperature, wind direction and more. The whiskers are embedded three times deeper than the fur and send a signal to the brain. When approaching tight spaces, the message sent by the whiskers allows the cat to know if it can fit through the gap or not. They also act as a navigation tool and help the cat with radar-like skills at night.


For pets that haven’t mastered the flying abilities of the superpet superheroes in the film, you could always speak to PBS Pet Travel, we specialise in facilitating the safe travel of pets across the globe. Whether that be for them to embark on a crime-fighting campaign with other superhero pets or just to join you on holiday. Contact us today to find out how! Our knowledgeable team are always on hand to help and can advise you on the best tips for travel kennels as well as all the relevant paperwork you may need to complete. Get a free pet travel quote today!