HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Contrary to common wisdom, scientist discovers some mammals can smell objects under water

A Vanderbilt researcher has discovered that some stealthy mammals have been doing something heretofore thought impossible -- using the sense of smell under water.

The results of the research by Vanderbilt's Kenneth Catania, assistant professor of biology, were reported Dec. 21 in the science journal Nature. He became curious when he observed that a mole he was studying blew a lot of bubbles while swimming.

"This came as a total surprise because the common wisdom is that mammals can't smell underwater,' said Catania, who earlier this year won a $500,000 "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

"When mammals adapt to living in water, their sense of smell usually degenerates. The primary example is the cetaceans whales and dolphins many of which have lost their sense of smell."

Catania devised a series of experiments to determine whether the star-nosed mole and another small, semi-aquatic mammal - the water shrew - can smell objects underwater. Using a high-speed camera, he discovered how they do it. After observing that the moles were blowing bubbles out of their nostrils and then sucking them right back in, he determined they were exhaling and inhaling the bubbles rapidly, between five and 10 times per second. That is about the same rate as the sniffing behavior of comparably sized land mammals, like rats and mice. "Rats and mice don't sniff the way we do," Catania said. "They push air 'out-in out-in' in a fashion strikingly similar to what the star-nosed mole is doing, except that it is doing it under water."

Catania mounted a high-speed video camera so that it pointed up through the bottom of a glass tank. Then he stuck various objects on the bottom of the tank pieces of earthworm, small fish, insect cuticle and blobs of wax and silicon and observed the moles' behavior. He saw that, when the moles approached one of these targets, they would blow bubbles that came into contact with the target's surfa
'"/>

Contact: David Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University
20-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Features of replication suggest viruses have common themes, vulnerabilities
2. Risk of common vaginal infection linked to preterm birth appears higher for blacks
3. New gene mutation identified in common type of dementia
4. Study identifies a common genetic risk factor for colorectal and prostate cancer
5. Researchers pit novel version of common virus against cancer
6. Gene responsible for common hearing loss identified for first time
7. OSA symptoms more common among African-American women than Caucasians
8. Sensitivity to diverse range of chemotherapeutic drugs linked to common pathway
9. Largest ever study of genetics of common diseases published today
10. First confirmed common genetic risk factors for breast cancer
11. Scripps research study shows humans and plants share common regulatory pathway

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/22/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 21, 2020 , ... ... digital transformation and innovation in technology and compliance, announces a new solution to ... companies must ensure every layer of their technology stack complies with FDA and ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... ... July 03, 2020 , ... Aesthetics Biomedical (ABM), a leading ... for not only the products and treatments developed, but also the dedicated team ... All the brands built by ABM have received several honors already for 2020, ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... software solutions for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that it has entered into ... full-length multispecific antibodies (Multiclonics®), to support their translational and clinical research strategy ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2020 , ... ... and global consulting firm for the life sciences and food industries, is pleased ... new Director of Clinical Research – Business Development. , Charles is an accomplished ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... In most research ... to suppress pigment formation in zebrafish embryos, maintaining optical transparency to facilitate microscopic ... MA has been using the zebrafish model to investigate the causes of leukaemia ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... July 06, 2020 , ... Bio-IT World has announced ... Bristol-Myers Squibb, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mission: Cure, and the ... awards program, highlighting outstanding examples of how technology innovations and strategic initiatives can ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 30, 2020 , ... ... announced that the launch of a new clinical diagnostics immuno-oncology service, ... tumor microenvironment (TME). , “Flagship’s TissueInsight is a service that aids pathologists, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: