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Do fish smell each other?

December 18th 2012 01:44
Dogs and other animals detect human scent and know when we're around. But, we fail to (usually) notice odors from other humans.

Sense of smell is important if you're a fish. It allows the ability to sniff out food or evens return to the correct breeding spot after being away for months at a time.

Think there are no bloodhounds in the water? The salmonoid family of fishes can detect certain amino acids in quantities as little as 1 part per 8 billion, and don't forget sharks detect a drop of blood in the water from miles away. However, you have to realize this means fish are easily repelled by smells they are unfamiliar with or view as "disgusting." This can include gasoline,motor oil, suntan lotion, or tobacco.

No matter what you see in cartoons, fish don't have nostrils like mammals. They have a set of holes called nares which leads to an area of sensory pads. Then, a fish smells by moving water over this area and over the pads.

Although most fish need to keep swimming for this to occur, some fish pump water through the system using tiny hairs called cilia coupled with muscle movement. Finally, when sensory organs detect a smell they transmit it to the brain for interpretation.

But, what about the smell? Do fish smell that? Dunk your head in the lake and tell me.

Remember to take the hooks outta yer pocket before ya sit down!

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