Friday, January 29, 2010

Doesn't smell right

Birds migrate by smell! or at least have the ability to utilise their sense of smell to help them migrate appropriately. This was a subject discussed at the Swanwick conference in December and now it is being more widely reported (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127110423.htm). By performing some nifty experiments and olfactory manipulations in american Cat-birds reseachers were able to show that those birds that couldn't smell properly didn't migrate as they should. However, I would argue, just because you've messed with someone's nose doesn't mean they cannot smell (are we talking about all smells or just a small range of smells) and, if you had flushed my nose with a saline solution to the extent of interfering with my sense of smell I might be a bit disorientated too! I need more data before I'm convinced of this. Discuss.

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