Close-up of Black-browed albatross. Steve Allen

Smell In Stereo

Scientists recently discovered that the Eastern American mole smells in stereo. Because they’re blind and have little use for hearing, moles use stereoscopic smell to determine their location and the location of their prey.

Locate A Distant Mate

Moths don’t have noses. Instead, they have antennae covered in scent receptors. While they don’t detect every scent well, male silkworm moths can sense a single molecule of female sex hormone from at least a mile away.

Detect Specific Proteins

Sharks breathe with their gills, so their noses serve only to smell. They are particularly well tuned for hunting. Sharks can sense a prey’s amino acids at concentrations as low as one part per billion.

Target a Single Scent

Dogs have a keen ability to discriminate among smells. An Auburn tracking dog can follow a single human trail, laid more than 24 hours before, across a campus crisscrossed by tens of thousands of students.