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Nature & Environment

Elephants have world's best sense of smell

By T.K. Randall
July 23, 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)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by shrooma 9 years ago
but daily showers . huh?? .
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 9 years ago
. huh?? . Quoted from the article link. I thought the same thing as well.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DefenceMinisterMishkin 9 years ago
shrooma smells like a nasty shroom.. I know this as being fact..
Comment icon #8 Posted by shrooma 9 years ago
Quoted from the article link. I thought the same thing as well. . i know! daily showers?! i laughed so hard a little bit of wee came out!! :-D
Comment icon #9 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: 9 years ago
I thought the trunk was an obvious indication but I concur.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Ashyne 9 years ago
With the biggest noses in the animal kingdom, of course elephants have the best sense of smell.
Comment icon #11 Posted by aquatus1 9 years ago
This really shouldn't have caught me as much by surprise as it did.
Comment icon #12 Posted by taniwha 9 years ago
With the biggest noses in the animal kingdom, of course elephants have the best sense of smell. 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. Ultrasound simply refers to a sound that is outside a human's sonic range--which isn't that hard, really, as humans have modest auditory abilities. Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland have discovered that the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella), a dull-colored, generally boring and com... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Rei4ever 9 years ago
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. 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 9 years ago
Actually they hear through vibrations , where they used their foot pads like ancient sauropods... They also have the Best sense of Feeling 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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