So you think you have a keen nose for things like dirty diapers or food that has spoiled? Read on to find out about the olfactory superiority of some animals in the world.
It’s a very good thing that we humans have brains that can reason and solve problems. If we had to use our noses in the manner that most animals in the animal kingdom utilize their noses, we probably would not survive for long.
Consider the following facts.
Animals with poor eyesight usually have a highly developed sense of smell. Some examples include bears, moles, shrews, and rhinos.
A keen sense of smell allows animals to locate food as well as avoid becoming food for predators. Polar bears rely heavily on their sense of smell when attempting to locate food. A polar bear will lift its nose skyward to catch any scents drifting its way on the air currents. A seal can be up to five miles away and the bear will trace its location. A polar bear can also smell a seal that has taken refuge under snow or ice that is over three feet thick.
Some bats are frugivores (fruit eaters) and others are nectavores (nectar drinkers). The highly developed sense of smell in many Old World fruit bats is due to their long muzzles which have quite a bit of room for an abundance of olfactory receptors. Many fruit-eating bats sniff out and consume mostly overripe fruit, keeping the tree or bush healthy and fruit fly free.
Swine have an acute sense of smell.
They use their snouts to push through dirt and other ground cover to forage for food. Because of this, pigs are used in Europe to find truffles which are heavily used in French cooking. Why isn’t the pig’s nose bent out of shape by its snuffling? The pig’s snout keeps its shape due to a prenasal bone and a ring of cartilage in the tip of the nose.
Animals of the western United States considered big game animals include mountain goats, Dall sheep, elk, pronghorns, and moose.
These, along with white-tailed deer, have learned over time to utilize their sharp sense of smell in combination with the prevailing wind currents to detect any predators.
A good sense of smell enables mature male animals to find the female when she is in season. For example, a male polar bear can detect a female in heat which is 90 miles away. If you have ever owned a female cat that has not been spayed, you know rather quickly when the pet is in heat. Every neighborhood tom, even ones you have never seen before, shows up outside your window at night to ask if she can come out to play!