A dolphin that echolocates a human in water can perceive not only the human’s outer shape but also what is inside, including skeleton and lungs. Tree frog embryos — ensconced inside their unhatched eggs — can detect the vibrations of an attacking predator and release an enzyme from their faces that dissolves the casings that house them, allowing them to exit and escape.

An Immense World, by Ed Yong464 pagesRANDOM HOUSE

That I found myself surprised at so many moments while reading "An Immense World,” Ed Yong’s new book about animal senses, speaks to his exceptional gifts as a storyteller — though perhaps it also says something regrettable about me. I was marveling at those details because I found them weird; but it turns out, if I try to expand my perspective just a bit, they aren’t so weird after all. One of Yong’s themes is that much of what we think of as "extrasensory” is "simply sensory.” A term like "ultrasound” is "an anthropocentric affectation.” The upper frequency limit for the average human ear may be a measly 20 kilohertz, but most mammals can hear well into the ultrasound range.