Contrary to common wisdom, scientist discovers some mammals can smell objects under water

ce and then were sucked back into the nostrils.

"Because the olfactory nerves in the nose are covered with mucous, odorant molecules are all water soluble," Catania said. "So, when these bubbles come into contact with an object, it is almost inevitable that odorant molecules will mix with the air and be drawn into the nose when the bubble is inhaled."

Just because the moles are getting whiffs of interesting odors underwater doesn't necessarily mean they smell them. So Catania devised some additional tests.

One of the complicating factors was the star-nosed mole's unusual nose, which is ringed by a star-shaped set of fleshy appendages. It uses its star like a super-sensitive set of fingers to identify objects it encounters while burrowing and swimming. So, at the same time it is sniffing at an object it is also fingering it with its star.

To determine if the mole can identify edible objects by sniffing alone, Catania created underwater scent trails leading to food and recorded how well the moles' could follow them. To keep the moles from using their tactile star, he put a grid-work between the animals and the scent trails. The openings in the grid were too small for the star appendages to squeeze through but large enough so the air bubbles could pass without difficulty.

These trials demonstrated that the moles could follow the scent trail by sniffing alone (without the tactile star).

Five moles were tested on earthworm scent trails and followed the trail to its reward with accuracies ranging from 75 percent to 100 percent accuracy. Two moles were tested with fish scent trails and followed them with 85 percent and 100 percent accuracy.

When the grid was replaced with a screen with openings too small for the air bubbles to pass through, however, the moles' performance dropped down to the level of chance the same as their performance with no-scent trails.

In order to see if this capability was limited to the star-nosed mole or

Contact: David Salisbury
Vanderbilt University

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:
(Date:10/5/2015)... -- http://soundview.co ) releases the ... NXTD ), a biometric authentication company focused on ... ) releases the following market and company ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce ... ) releases the following market and company ...
(Date:9/30/2015)... , Sept. 30, 2015  The global glucose monitoring device ... 2015. So says a new report on the industry from ... segment dominate the market, followed by continuous glucose monitoring and ... on the market for these products in its latest report, ... , ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... 28, 2015 The global ... USD 12.03 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR ... as Backside Illumination (BSI) technique to improve picture quality ... period.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757) , ... to reduce loss and, thus, reduce the noise interference ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/8/2015)... BALTIMORE, Maryland , October 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... http://www.GoldmanResearch.com .   --> Goldman ... specializing in the small cap and microcap sectors, ... sponsored research report on PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc. (OTCQB ... company focused on developing and preparing treatments for ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 8, 2015  The ALS Association, in partnership with ... Challenge to revolutionize communication technology solutions for people living ... ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a progressive neurodegenerative ... and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose ... often leads to total paralysis and death within two ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... , ... Talon Innovations, a provider of Precision Machined Products and ... is one of three finalists for the Minnesota Business magazine’s Manufacturing Award in the ... Innovations was recognized as a nominee for this competitive award. , The “Best ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... 7, 2015 Boston Scientific (NYSE: ... the Boston Scientific Connected Patient Challenge , an ... use of remote patient monitoring to enhance patient care.  ... can submit their ideas and collaborate on solutions through ... Cambridge, MA where they ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: