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Elephants have world's best sense of smell


Posted on Wednesday, 23 July, 2014 | Comment icon 14 comments


Elephants have a very keen sense of smell. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Greg Willis

African elephants have more genes dedicated to smell than anything else in the animal kingdom.

In a recent study published in Genome Research, scientists examining the number of genes associated with an animal's sense of smell found that an elephant's trunk was able to beat even the best known of nature's keenest noses including those of humans, horses, rats and even dogs.

With 20,000 genes dedicated to smell the African elephant has more than twice that of a dog and up to five times that of humans and other primates.

"The functions of these genes are not well known, but they are likely important for the living environment of African elephants," said Dr Yoshihito Niimura of the University of Tokyo.

"Apparently, an elephant's nose is not only long but also superior."

   
Source: Telegraph | Comments (14)

Tags: Elephant, Smell


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by shrooma on 23 July, 2014, 17:54
. huh?? .
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer on 23 July, 2014, 17:57
Quoted from the article link. I thought the same thing as well.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DefenceMinisterMishkin on 23 July, 2014, 18:01
shrooma smells like a nasty shroom.. I know this as being fact..
Comment icon #8 Posted by shrooma on 23 July, 2014, 18:12
. i know! daily showers?! i laughed so hard a little bit of wee came out!! :-D
Comment icon #9 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 23 July, 2014, 19:03
I thought the trunk was an obvious indication but I concur.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Ashyne on 24 July, 2014, 1:35
With the biggest noses in the animal kingdom, of course elephants have the best sense of smell.
Comment icon #11 Posted by aquatus1 on 24 July, 2014, 2:15
This really shouldn't have caught me as much by surprise as it did.
Comment icon #12 Posted by taniwha on 25 July, 2014, 9:07
The biggest ears in the animal kingdom as well, but does that give it the best hearing in the world? It appears that prize would go to something smaller much than an elephants toenail.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Rei4ever on 4 August, 2014, 14:50
Actually they hear through vibrations , where they used their foot pads like ancient sauropods... They also have the Best sense of Feeling
Comment icon #14 Posted by taniwha on 5 August, 2014, 7:07
Very interesting thanks, Rei4eva, i have read that they weep when they grieve, very touching. Perhaps the most touch sensitive creature on earth, the catfish, starts to feel the tremors of an earthquake days in advance! Ouch, with skin like that you could probably feel your own shadow!


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