The amazing dog nose: can you smell me now? - General discussion - Forum

The amazing dog nose: can you smell me now?

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Date sent: 2017/10/06 12:23:20
The amazing olfactory abilities of the dog are well-known to any dog owner. With a sniff of the door jamb, my dog knows who is on the other side of the front door before I open it, he can locate one of his toys hidden in a drawer, and he heads straight for the person with treats in their pocket when we go to the dog park. We have made good use of this portable detection system to find lost children, locate bombs, detect cancer, and many, many other things. The dog's nose is truly remarkable.
Just as amazing as its sensitivity to odor is its design, which is much more complex that it might first appear. Inside the muzzle is a complex system of passages, the turbinates, that both humidify the air and also direct it to the olfactory organ for scent detection. This design much accomplish both respiration and scenting as breathing and sniffing, respectively.

Some new studies reveal that the nose itself is much more complicated than might be expected from its simple design. There are two front-facing nostrils, or nares, as well as slits along the bottom on each side. With some very clever experiments, researchers have shown that this design is no accident. They have been able to reveal how air flows in and out of the canine nose, and how a simple design improves scent detection. In fact, engineers can improve the effectiveness of our chemical sensing technology by learning a few things from the dog.

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