HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
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
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:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... Dollar project, for the , Supply and Delivery ... IT Infrastructure , to Decatur ... Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in the ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. The ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As ... added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... Elevay is currently known as ... for high net worth professionals seeking travel for work ... world, there is still no substitute for a face-to-face ... your deal with a firm handshake. This is why ... of citizenship via investment programs like those offered by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the z-dimension of ... higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. Z-dimension ... of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow cell product ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: