Blind Moles Smell in Stereo
These strange blind eastern American Moles, helps find their food by smelling in stereo. They detect small differences in the strength of an odor between the two nostrils.
Images © wikipedia
According to a new study, blind Moles combine serial sampling with bilateral nasal cues to localize odorants, and find food.
Professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University Kenneth Catania, said:
“These findings show that mammals can make use of bilateral chemosensory cues combined with serial sampling to localize odorants and offer insights into the relative contribution of each strategy during different stages of natural search behaviours.”
Moles are small cylindrical mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have velvety fur; tiny or invisible ears and eyes;relatively atrophied hindlimbs; and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws oriented for digging. The term is especially and most properly used for the true moles, those of the Talpidae family in the order Soricomorpha found in most parts of North America, Asia, and Europe. It also refers to other completely unrelated mammals of Australia and southern Africa which have also evolved the mole body plan; it is not commonly used for some talpids, such as desmans and shrew-moles, which do not fit the common definition of “mole”, as well.
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