Senses and communication

Mice communicate mainly by vocalizing and by emitting scents (pheromones). Pheromones are produced and excreted by the preputial glands, but are also found in tears and urine.
Of all the senses, the sense of smell is the most developed. Pheromones contribute to communication, they function as an alarm signal for predators and they play a role in sexual maturation. In mice, pheromones are perceived by an olfactory sense organ called Jacobson's organ, which is located in the base of the nasal cavity.

Ultrasound communication

Mice are able to hear sounds outside the frequency range audible to humans (ultrasound). For communication, mice produce sounds that humans can hear, as well as inaudible ultrasound (see movie).


Mice use their whiskers for perceiving objects and the movement of air. Bending of whiskers leads to stimulation of the nerves attached to the hair follicles and these nerve impulses are transmitted to the cerebral cortex.


Mice are nocturnal animals; they have next to no color perception and they are sensitive to high intensity light. This is especially true for albino animals, which suffer retinal degradation if exposed to light with an intensity exceeding 60 Lux.

Movie: a vocalizing mouse