THE RIGHT NOSE | 11 Images

Listen! Do You Smell Something?

                                       DAN AYKROY

Humans are microsmatic, they tend to have a poor sense of smell. In contrast, the odor world of some animals is spectacular, they are macrosmatic. Prime example: the pet dog. Its olfactory abilities are about one million times better than those of its master. In addition, canids can smell in stereo, separate right and left nostril. Even mistress can't do this. Pigs, camels, moose, butterflies – they all can do better than we do. The right schnoz leads animals to their food, lets recognize friend (fragrance!) and foe (stink!). The animals sniff their territory and get wind of everything in it, they find their way and they communicate with conspecifics. And when pheromones tickle their chemoreceptors, then they know it is time for sex. Without the sense of smell survival would hardly be possible. The nose knows!

But a nose is not always a nose, and sometimes even does not look like a nose. Birds have their olfactory openings usually on the upper side of the beak, so it is in some way a nose. Snakes smell with their tongues and insects with their antennae. Also a real nose is not always there to smell. The appendage of an elephant is a multi-function tool made out of 40.000 muscles. It is a tactile, gripping and breath instrument with sensitivity, a snorkel, a weapon, a suction as well as a pressure pump.

The Greater Horseshoe Bat has a flamboyant and distinctive shaped nose. It is less used for the sense of smell rather than for forming of an ultrasound cone. In fact, this nose is used to "see". This is evolution.

A propos. At Nasalis lavartus, the Proboscis Monkey, the nose is the program. The olfactory organ of the males is a secondary sexual characteristic. They can inflate their noses. It also serves as a resonating body for vocalization. It is understandable that a well-proportioned nose increases the attractiveness to the womankind.


In general, the importance of the beak, the snout, the schnozzle and the conk should not be underestimated for the physiognomy: The nose makes the face!

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